Further Asian infant formula recovery drives Danone Q1 sales boost

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Further Asian infant formula recovery drives Danone Q1 sales boost

Related tags: Milk

Further recovery of Danone's infant formula business in Asia drove a 4.8% like-for-like increase in Q1 group sales, the French dairy announced today.

As detailed in its Q1 results, published earlier today, Paris-based Danone achieved sales of €5.471bn for the three months ended March 31 2015 - up from €5.061bn in Q1 2014.

Early Life Nutrition sales increased 11.6% to €1.22bn on the back of the "international success of brands like Aptamil and Nutrilon."

In China, Danone infant formula brands "continued to benefit from category growth, with e-commerce expanding rapidly."

Nutrilon Platinum infant formula, launched by Danone in China in early 2014, "continued to win market shares among specialized distribution stores," ​it said.

However, sales of Dumex - impacted by the Fonterra whey protein concentrate (WPC) botulism scare - remained "well below levels observed in early 2013."

Double-digit infant formula sales growth was also reported across in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, it said.

Fresh dairy sales down

Its Fresh Dairy Products business - best known for brands like Activia and Oikos - reported sales of €2.807bn, down from €2.809bn in Q1 2104.

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Russian fresh dairy sales were "solid" in Q1 despite the "uncertain consumer environment," said Danone.

Despite the "uncertain consumer environment" ​in Russia, sales of fresh dairy product sales were "solid,"​ it said.

US fresh dairy sales were "in line with the category as a whole, allowing Danone to confirm its leading position."

As in previous quarters, Danone's European fresh dairy sales were down.

Meanwhile, the French firm's Medical Nutrition division - the subject of sales speculation for much of 2014 - "turned in a sold performance, particularly in Europe."

The UK, China and Brazil were the "main contributors"​ to a 9.1% like-for-like increase in Q1 sales, it said.

Lastly, its Waters division reported sales of €1.065bn for the period - up from €895m in Q1 2104.

On the back of its Q1 results, Danone confirmed its 2015 target of between 4% and 5% organic sales growth and "slight growth"​ in trading operating margin.

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