• Danone Waters division posts 9.6% rise in H1 sales, hitting EUR1.85bn (US$2.29bn)
  • Q2 holds up well for the division, despite tough comparatives
  • Group net profits hold steady at EUR965m in H1, with net sales up by 5.9% to EUR10.48bn
Danone released its H1 results today

Danone released its H1 results today

Danone's bottled water unit has posted a healthy set of numbers for the first half of this year, despite robust comparatives in Q2 last year.

The French company, which owns the Volvic and Evian water brands, said earlier today (27 July) that sales in the first six months of this year for Danone Waters were up by 9.6% at EUR1.85bn (US$2.29bn). Sales growth in the latter three months of the half-year slowed from Q1's strong showing, rising 4.6% to EUR1.01bn.

"Both volumes and mix were adversely affected by the high basis of comparison established in Q2 2011, when demand was boosted by the earthquake in Japan as well as very favourable weather in Western Europe and Latin America," the group said. "In contrast, Western Europe experienced poor weather in the second quarter of the current year.

"The division’s structural trends nonetheless remain solid, with double-digit growth in emerging markets."

For the half-year, the group as a whole reported net profits of EUR965m, up 1.2%, with net sales rising by 5.9% to EUR10.48bn. Group operating profits were flat, inching up by0.6% to EUR1.41bn.

Looking forward, Danone warned that "a swift deterioration in consumption in Southern Europe" has "proven steeper than expected". The target for sales growth remains at between 5% and 7%, but the group reiterated its warning from last month that its trading operating margin will be down 50 basis points in 2012.

To read Danone's official results announcement, click here.