French food group Danone has reaffirmed its 2008 earnings and sales targets after reporting a jump in first-quarter sales today (14 April).

The maker of Actimel yoghurts said sales rose 18.7% to EUR3.8bn (US$5.95bn) during the quarter.

The company posted strong sales growth of 18.8% at its baby nutritional products division, boosted by its takeover of Dutch babyfood maker Numico last year.

Dairy sales were up 10.5%, the company said.

Danone reiterated its 2008 target for sales growth of between 8% and 10%. It is eyeing EPS growth of 15%.

“Based on the group’s overall performance in the first three months of the year, we are confident of achieving our targets for 2008 both in terms of growth as well as profitability,” Danone chairman and CEO Franck Riboud said in a statement.

In February, Danone raised its financial targets for 2008 after announcing that its 2007 net profit had tripled, thanks to a EUR3.1bn capital gain on the sale of its biscuit business.