• Danone LFL sales up as dairy rebounds
  • Net profit up 44% on exceptional items
  • FY earnings targets confirmed

Danone saw like-for-like sales rise 2.2% in the second quarter and 1.6% in the first half, as the French food giant reversed a trend of negative volumes in its dairy division.

The company today (24 July) attributed the "significant" rebound in fresh dairy volumes to price cuts and marketing initiatives.

However, the negative impact of currency exchange and consolidation drove total sales down 1.6% in the first half, to EUR7.52bn (US$10.68bn).

Underlying net income increased 7.6% to EUR722m for the first six months of 2009.

First-half net profit was up 44% EUR978m, up 44%, boosted by a capital gain on Danone's sale of its Frucor and Britannia brands, and other non-recurring items.

Looking to the full year, Danone expects "no significant improvement or dramatic breakdown" in developed markets.

The company anticipates like-for-like sales growth "a few points below" the medium-term guidance of 8-10%.

Click here for the full press release, or check back later for just-food's more in-depth analysis of Danone's first half.