Danone released its H1 results today.

Danone released its H1 results today.

Groupe Danone's CFO has defended its flavoured water brands from accusations they contain too much sugar, saying they sit “at the heart” of the company's health strategy.

On an analysts' conference call today (29 July), following the group's first-half results, Pierre-Andre Terrise said that so-called “aqua drinks”, which account for 30% of Danone's water sales, are "healthy" and low in sugar compared to other soft drinks. He said consumers don't view them as a replacement for water but as “something more exciting”. 

“That is why aqua drinks are at the heart of our health strategy,” Terrise said. “It allows people to keep drinking nice things but they are healthier than most traditional soft drinks.”

Danone sells a range of flavoured water under its Evian and Volvic brands in a category that has come under attack from health groups accusing producers of marketing it as a healthy alternative to water. This month, a US judge gave the go-ahead to a class action lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Co that accuses it of making “deceptive and unsubstantiated” claims over its Vitaminwater brand.

In H1 results, released today, Danone's water unit posted a 9.6% jump in sales alongside a 5.9% rise in volumes.