Groupe Danone has posted a slight lift in total sales for the first quarter of this year.

The French food and drinks company said today (24 April) that group sales for the three-month period were up by 3.9% on a historical basis, coming in at EUR3.67bn (US$4.98bn) against EUR3.53bn a year earlier.

On the beverages side of the business, sales increased by 9.1% to EUR1.01bn against EUR947m in Q1 2006. Beverage growth was driven by what the company called "sustained superior performance" in Latin America, at over 25%, and "solid" results in Europe. The company's domestic beverages market, however, was described as "sluggish", although specific figures were not disclosed.

Moving forward, the company has forecast full-year sales growth of between 6% and 8%, with trading operating income set to grow between 7% and 10%.

Danone's annual shareholders' meeting is scheduled for this Thursday (26 April).