• FY sales climb by 15.7% to EUR3.23bn (US$4.25bn)
  • Waters fourth-quarter sales grow by 23.3% to EUR746m
  • Group net profits rose by 4.5% to EUR1.75bn
  • Danone's group sales increase by 13.6% to EUR19.32bn
In the fourth-quarter, Danones water sales increased by 23.3%

In the fourth-quarter, Danone's water sales increased by 23.3%

Danone Waters has recorded an increase in full-year sales, boosted by good growth in Western Europe and its top emerging markets.

For the 12 months to the end of December, Danone saw its water sales grow by 15.7% on a like-for-like basis to EUR3.23bn (US$4.25bn), the Evian water producer said today (15 February). Volumes in the period climbed by 8.8%.

In the fourth-quarter, water sales increased by 23.3% to reach EUR746m on a like-for-like basis, driven by a 10.1% growth in sales volumes.

"Backed by the division's solid underlying trends, the last quarter's exceptional performance reflects a combination of factors benefiting every area of this business: mild weather and good growth for the waters category in Western Europe; the year's best performance in the top emerging countries - Indonesia, Mexico, China, and Argentina; and accelerated growth in the aquadrinks segment," Danone said.

Rising baby food and water sales boosted Danone's group profits in 2011.

The French food and beverage firm reported a 4.5% increase in underlying net profits to EUR1.75bn for 2011. Reported net profits fell 10.9% to EUR1.67bn but the figure was hit by financial items and a higher tax bill.

Operating profits, meanwhile, were up 8.4% at EUR2.73bn. Danone reported a 9.2% increase in trading operating profits, which excludes costs like impairment charges and restructuring expenses, to EUR2.84bn and said its trading operating margin was up 20 basis points.

The company's total net sales climbed 13.6%, or 7.8% on a like-for-like basis, to EUR19.32bn. Volumes increased 3% due to growth from Danone's baby food, medical nutrition and waters units.

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