French dairy group Danone said today (15 February) that it anticipates outperforming competitors in 2011 as it posted a 38% jump in full-year net profit.

The Activia and YOPLAIT manufacturer said that net profit increased to EUR1.87bn (US$2.53bn) on rising sales and reduced financial costs. Operating profit increased 12% to EUR2.58bn, the company added.

Sales rose 14%, or 6.9% on a like-for-like basis, rising to EUR17.01bn. Sales volumes rose 7.6% in the year, Danone said.

Commenting on the gains, chairman and CEO Franck Riboud said that emerging markets had driven sales gains during 2010.

“Our structure is changing rapidly and emerging economies now represent half of our business,” he said.

Despite expected pressure from rising commodity costs, Riboud remained bullish on the group’s outlook for 2011.

“The strength of our group, businesses, brands and teams, and our exposure to regions with robust growth prospects mean that we can look to 2011 with confidence,” he predicted. “We will aim to outperform our competitors in organic sales growth, margin, and cash generation.”

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