Danone, the French food and drink company, has seen its sales fall 5% in the first nine months of the year on the back of currency effects and divestments, the company said yesterday.

In a statement Danone announced that in the nine-month period, turnover had fallen 4.9% to €10.467 billion. However on an organic basis it rose 5.3%.

The sales figures were a little under expectations of around €10.6 billion thanks to the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and the sale of its Galbani cheese-and-ham maker and its U.S. domestic waters.

However, the owner of the Evian water brand reiterated its forecast for "at least 5.2%" organic growth over the full year, earnings per share growth of 10% and an increase in its operating margin of 40-50 basis points.

In third quarter, sales fell to €3.315 billion from €3.458 billion a year ago - below forecasts for 3.448 billion. But on a comparable basis, Danone said third-quarter turnover climbed 7.8%.