China's baby boom helps to drive revenue growth at Danone

By Laura Mullan
Danone reported that its first-quarter revenue was up by nearly 5%, driven by increasing demand for its infant formula products as a result of China’s...

Danone reported that its first-quarter revenue was up by nearly 5%, driven by increasing demand for its infant formula products as a result of China’s baby boom.

The French multinational group reported first-quarter revenue of $7.53bn, exceeding analyst expectations. 

Danone said that the increase was due to a “very strong” performance of the company’s infant formula in China, where like-for-like sales growth increased by over 50%. 

On top of this, probiotics, organic, kids and plant-based products also performed well.

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The world’s largest yoghurt maker, with brands including Actimel and Activia, also said that it had seen an uptick in dairy sales in Europe and noted signs of growth in North America.

Last year Danone acquired soy-milk maker Whitewave for US$10bn in a bid to expand its portfolio in the fast-growing organic food and drinks market following a sluggish performance in its largest business line, yoghurt and fresh dairy. 

The French firm reiterated that it expects to see a double-digit rise in 2018 underlying earning per share (EPS), excluding the impact of the sale of a stake in Japanese probiotic drink Yakult. 

"We are reaffirming our confidence in the agility of our model to navigate a volatile environment to deliver our 2018 guidance and to accelerate towards our 2020 ambition," said chief executive Emmanuel Faber in a statement.
 

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