French group Danone has posted a 5.2% rise in third quarter sales as the hot summer in Europe boosted sales of its fresh dairy products and beverages.

However, Danone said that negative exchange rates and disposals saw sales for the first nine months of 2003 fall 3.4% to E10.1bn.

Third quarter like-for-like sales of fresh dairy products rose 6%, beverages were up 11.1%, while biscuits dropped by 2.4% and its other food businesses fell 1.9%.