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Danone Q3 Net Sales Rise, Volume Edges Down; Backs Outlook; Names Chief Human Resources Officer

French food company Danone SA (DANOY.PK) reported Tuesday that its third-quarter net sales were 6.16 billion euros, up 5.8 percent from last year's 5.82 billion euros. Sales grew 3.8 percent on a like-for-like or LFL basis.

All categories contributed to sales growth with sustained strong momentum in EDP, continued recovery in Specialized Nutrition and Waters.

EDP sales of 3.27 billion euros increased 5.2 percent from last year. Specialized Nutrition sales grew 4.6 percent to 1.78 billion euros, and Waters sales went up 9.6 percent to 1.11 billion euros.

Europe and North America sales were 3.50 billion euros, up 4.9 percent on a reported basis and 3.9 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Rest of the World sales grew 7 percent from last year to 2.66 billion euros, and the LFL sales growth was 3.7 percent.

Meanwhile, total volume for the quarter edged down 0.8 percent as 5.3 percent drop in Specialized Nutrition and 2.1 percent drop in Rest of the World volume offset growth in all other businesses and regions.

Looking ahead, the company reiterated 2021 guidance, expecting a return to profitable growth in the second half, and fiscal year recurring operating margin broadly in line with 2020.

Despite short-term uncertainties, a gradual reopening of economies is assumed to continue as vaccination programs are rolled out. Meanwhile, a broad-based acceleration of inflation in milk, ingredients, packaging and logistics is expected.

Separately, Danone announced the appointment of Roberto Di Bernardini as Chief Human Resources Officer with effect from November 29. Bernardini will report directly to Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Chief Executive Officer, and will be a member of the Executive Committee.

Most recently, he served as Global CHRO and Chief Talent Officer at Banco Santander.

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