Danone has reported a 2.4% dip in volume sales in Europe during the first quarter of the year.

The French FMCG giant’s European sales – which include the Activia and Actimel brands in the UK – climbed 0.9% to £2.2bn, despite the hit to volumes.

The group’s performance in Europe was in contrast to its sales in its other markets. Like-for-like sales in Asia rose 19.4%, to £679m (€829m) whilst volumes increased 14.5%. Sales in the rest of the world climbed 12.7%, to £1.3bn as volumes grew by 4.3%.

“In Europe, where consumer demand remains sluggish, particularly in the south, we’ve focused on supporting our brands and our product categories,” said chairman Franck Riboud.

By business line, fresh dairy products fared the worst, with sales up 3.8% to £2.4bn, compared to 16.4% for waters, 9% for baby nutrition and 6.4% for medical nutrition. Volumes on fresh dairy fell 0.1%, whilst waters, baby nutrition and medical nutrition saw sales rise by 7.7%, 3.8% and 7.1% respectively.

Globally, the group’s like-for-like sales rose 6.9% to £4.2bn as volumes increased by 2.2%.