Danone first-half profit more than doubles to €880m

Revamp of Actimel and Danonino brands offset lower-than-expected volume

Danone, the world’s largest yogurt maker, reported first-half earnings that beat analyst estimates as a revamp of its Actimel and Danonino brands and price increases offset lower-than-expected volume.

Danone, the world’s largest yogurt maker, reported first-half earnings that beat analyst estimates as a revamp of its Actimel and Danonino brands and price increases offset lower-than-expected volume.

 

Danone, the world’s largest yogurt maker, reported first-half earnings that beat analyst estimates as a revamp of its Actimel and Danonino brands and price increases offset lower-than-expected volume.

Adjusted operating income rose 7 per cent to €1.48 billion, the Paris-based company said in a statement Thursday. Analysts expected €1.4 billion. The company said net profit more than doubled to €880 million in the first half.

Like-for-like sales advanced 4.1 per cent in the second quarter, exceeding the consensus for 3.7 per cent growth. Volume gained 1 per cent, missing the 1.3 per cent consensus.

Danone has tweaked some of its dairy products to counter years of sluggish consumption in western Europe, helping fuel a 5.2 per cent increase in pricing in the quarter.

The maker of Evian bottled water agreed to buy WhiteWave Foods for $10 billion earlier this month, a move that could double the size of the company’s US business and make it the global leader in organic food and drinks.

Dairy like-for-like sales rose 3 per cent in the second quarter, exceeding the median 2.7 per cent analyst estimate, amid improvement in Europe and North America.

Actimel’s relaunch included a new digital campaign called “Stay Strong,” adapting its slogan as European regulators years ago prohibited marketing the probiotic product as an immunity defense.

The brand also changed packaging and added new flavors. Danone reiterated its forecast for sales growth of 3 per cent to 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis this year.

The company also kept its prediction that its adjusted operating margin should widen by 50 to 60 basis points this year.

Bloomberg