Total sales at Danone have increased 5.6% to €5.3bn (£4.5bn), but European sales have continued to slide on the back of “lacklustre” consumer spending in the region.
The French dairy giant reported a 5.1% fall in like-for-like sales in Europe during Q1 2013 to €2bn, which it said was a comparable trend to that observed in Q4 of last year.
The rise in like-for-like group sales were fuelled by “exceptionally strong growth” in the baby nutrition division – of 17.1%, to €1.2bn – the group said in a statement. By geographical region, the strongest performing unit was Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, showing growth of 16.6%, to €2.2bn.
“As we expected, the first quarter of 2013 saw a solid performance that highlighted once again the contrast between robust growth in emerging markets and the sluggish economy in Europe,” chairman Franck Riboud said in a statement.
Of fresh dairy, waters, baby nutrition and medical nutrition, dairy was the worst performer, achieving just 0.7% sales growth to €3bn, and volume growth of 0.5%.
The group reiterated its February 2013 outlook, which includes moves to adapt its model in Europe; step up the pace of updates to product ranges in response to consumers’ changing needs; and adapting structures and costs in a bid to achieve €200m in savings by the end of 2014.
Danone has maintained its full-year target of achieving like-for-like sales growth of at least 5%.