The French agri-food group Danone maintains its objectives after a good start to 2022

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The logo of French food group Danone is seen at the company’s headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris, France, February 20, 2022. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) – French food group Danone (DANO.PA) maintained its financial targets for 2022 after posting stronger-than-expected sales growth of 7.1% in the first quarter amid rising prices. input costs and uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine.

The strong start to the year, Danone’s strongest like-for-like sales growth since the fourth quarter of 2014, was broad-based across geographies and all three businesses – dairy and plant-based, infant formula and water in a bottle.

This reflects favorable comparables a year ago, price increases, stronger demand for baby formula in China and post-COVID improvement in consumption of its water products outside of the home environment.

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“Our teams are ready to make 2022 the seminal year it should be for Danone as we move towards creating sustainable value for all,” Chief Financial Officer Juergen Esser said in a statement.

Danone, which is the world’s biggest yogurt maker, said like-for-like sales hit 6.236 billion euros ($6.74 billion) in the first quarter, amid expectations of a 5 .5% were estimated at 19 analysts.

Danone’s new boss, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, is leading a recovery plan amid rising input costs, coupled with new uncertainties caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which forced Danone to suspend its investments in Russia. Read more

The group reiterated that it expects a 2022 operating margin above 12% compared to 13.7% in 2021, with like-for-like sales growth driven by prices in a range of 3% to 5% compared to 3.4%. in 2021.

This assumed 100% reinvestment of its local savings first, higher productivity than last year and a level of input cost inflation in the mid-teens.

($1 = 0.9246 euros)

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Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Edited by Reuters Paris and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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