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Danone FY Profit Rises; Sees Tough Q1

French food company Danone SA (DANOY.PK) reported that its net income - group share for fiscal year 2020 rose to 1.96 billion euros or 2.99 euros per share from 1.93 billion euros or 2.95 euros per share in the prior year.

But recurring earnings per share declined to 3.34 euros from 3.85 euros in the previous year.

Annual sales were 23.6 billion euros, down 1.5% on a like-for-like basis, with stable volumes (-0.1%) and a -1.5% decrease in value reflecting negative category and country mix, especially in Waters and Specialized Nutrition. On a reported basis, sales were down 6.6%, mainly driven by the negative impact of exchange rates (-5.0%) that resulted from currencies devaluation against the Euro in the United States, Latin America, Indonesia and Russia.

At the Annual General Meeting on April 29, 2021, Danone's board will propose a dividend of 1.94 euros per share, in cash, in respect of the 2020 fiscal year. the ex-dividend data will be May 10, 2021 and the dividends will be payable on May 12, 2021.

Danone expects a tough first-quarter driven by the tough base of comparison of first-quarter last year and continued channel-related headwinds.

The company anticipates to be back to growth in the second-quarter, and to return to profitable growth in the second-half of year.

The company recurring operating margin for fiscal year 2021 to be broadly in line with 2020.

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