French food group Danone has said like-for-like sales increased 7.1% in the third quarter of 2005 compared to the year-ago period.

This takes like-for-like sales growth to 6.7% for the first nine months of 2005. Consolidated sales amounted to €9.85bn (US$11.8bn) for the first nine months of 2005.

Like-for-like sales growth of 7.1% in the third quarter derives from a 5.7% rise in volume and a 1.4% rise in value. On a reported basis, third-quarter sales increased 6.8%. Changes in exchange rates had a positive impact of 1.6% and changes in the scope of consolidation a negative impact of 1.9%.

Third-quarter like-for-like sales growth was 7.4% in fresh dairy products, 1.1% in biscuits and cereal products, and 10.7% in beverages.

Based on its nine-month sales performance and first-half results, Danone said it is confident in its ability to achieve like-for-like sales growth between 6% and 7% for the full year 2005.