Groupe Danone is reportedly planning to spend EUR500m-1bn (US$641m-1.2bn) in the next three to five years on acquisitions.

The French beverage and dairy group, whose drinks stable include water brands Evian and Volvic, is eyeing acquisitions in emerging markets like China as it looks to reduce its dependence on Western Europe.

Danone CFO Antoine Giscard D'Estaing told the Wall Street Journal late last week that the company was also looking at expanding into markets including Chile, Tunisia and Thailand.

Drinks were the top performer during the first half of the year at Danone, which saw its "best-ever" leap in six-month sales.

The company saw sales hit EUR7.2bn in the period to 30 June. Operating profit leapt 13.4% to EUR972m.

Danone's drinks division outperformed its other buoyant businesses with sales growth of 12.1%.