The French food and drinks group, Danone SA, has posted a 1.1% drop in operating profit for the first half of the current fiscal year, from €796m to €787m. However, that was still ahead of analysts' forecasts of an operating profit of around €765m.

Danone confirmed that it was on target to meet its forecast of a 5% to 7% like-for-like rise in revenues, a 20 to 40 point increase in operating margin and a 5% rise in EPS for the full 2003 fiscal year.

The company posted a net profit of €402m for the first half, against a net loss of €630m in the corresponding period last year.

Revenues in the first half fell from €7.15 billion to €6.62 billion but Danone said that without the negative effects of currency exchange, revenues would have grown by 7.2%.