French dairy giant Danone has reported a 7% increase in like-for-like sales in the three months to 31 March.

Sales at the Activia maker rose to €3.98bn (£3.49bn) for the period, with volumes up by almost 11%.

However, the performance was hit by an average decline in prices of 3.8%.

The group said it was targeting like-for-like sales growth of at least 5% in 2010 and a 10% improvement in cash flow.

Chairman and chief executive Franck Riboud said the results reflected the group’s emphasis on innovation in the tough economic climate.

“Our strong start in 2010 shows the result of the numerous initiatives we have undertaken in 2009: reset plans in our Dairy division; defence of the category in waters; strong focus of our efforts in baby food and innovation in medical nutrition.”

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