French food group Danone achieved a 15% rise in underlying net income last year and said it continued to expect double-digit growth in earnings per share in 2009 as it saw no dramatic drop in consumption.
Net profit rose to €1.31 billion ($1.70 billion) in 2008 from 1.19 billion the previous year, Danone said in a statement on Wednesday, broadly in line with the average of analysts’ forecasts based on Reuters Estimates.
“As anticipated ... the global economic environment has further deteriorated in the past three months, resulting in a slowdown in most markets in which the group operates, including in a number of emerging countries,” Danone said.
“Our scenario for 2009 remains that current consumption patterns in our key emerging and developed markets will continue over the balance of the year, with no significant improvement or dramatic breakdown.”
The maker of Evian bottled water and Actimel yoghurt said it still expected like-for-like sales growth of a few points below its medium-term guidance of 8-10% and a like-for-like continued improvement of the trading operating margin this year. (Reuters)