Danone reports solid growth in 2013

Danone reports solid growth in 2013

Fresh dairy, water, medical foods and more make Danone a top dog.

Highlights

  • Full-year 2013 sales of €21,298 million, up 4.8 percent like-for-like from 2012, and up 2.1 percent as reported
  • Strong underlying trends across all businesses in 2013, with a gradual stabilization of business in Europe, and sales up 10 percent in the CIS & North America and ALMA zones
  • Q4 performance nonetheless continued to reflect fall-out from the Fonterra affair and adverse exchange-rate effects, with sales up 2.9 percent like-for-like and down 3.0 percent as reported
  • Full-year trading operating margin stood at 13.19 percent in 2013, down -81 bps from 2012 and in line with the revised target announced last October
  • Underlying fully diluted EPS stood at €2.78, down 2.2 percent like-for-like
  • Dividend unchanged from 2012 at €1.45, with the option of full payment in either cash or shares
  • Free cash-flow for the year was €1,549 million excluding exceptional items, in line with the revised target announced last October

Net sales in 2013
Consolidated sales rose 2.1 percent as reported to total €21,298 million in 2013. Excluding the impact of changes in the basis for comparison, which include exchange rates and scope of consolidation, sales were up 4.8 percent. This organic growth reflects a 2.3 percent increase in sales volume and a 2.5 percent increase due to the price/mix effect.

The negative impact of fluctuations in exchange rates was 5.1 percent and reflects a marked decline in certain emerging currencies starting in the third quarter. These include the Argentine peso, the Indonesian rupiah and the Brazilian real. The 2.5 percent impact of the change in scope of consolidation results in large part from full consolidation of Centrale Laitière (Morocco) starting in March 2013.

Overview of sales performance – Q4 2013
Consolidated sales decreased 3.0 percent as reported to total €4,981 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of changes in the basis for comparison, which include exchange rates and scope of consolidation, sales were up 2.9 percent. This organic growth reflects a 0.5 percent increase in sales volume and a 2.4 percent increase due to the price/mix effect.

The 8.2 percent exchange-rate effect reflects negative trends in currencies including the Argentine peso, the Indonesian rupiah and the Russian ruble. The 2.6 percent impact of the change in scope of consolidation results in large part from the full consolidation of Central Laitière (Morocco) starting in March 2013, and the integration of other recent acquisitions including Sirma (Turkey), YoCrunch (United States) and Happy Family (United States).

Chairman’s comments
“Despite strong headwinds that took a toll on our business, 2013 was a year of solid growth and decisive progress in building Danone’s future.

"Several factors affected our results, particularly in the second half: currencies were volatile in emerging countries, milk prices rose steeply around the world, taxes went up sharply, and a false food-safety alert triggered by one of our suppliers had a marked impact on our Early Life Nutrition activities.

"Yet despite all that, we turned in a solid performance, with organic growth of nearly 5 percent driven by the success of many strategic projects. We consolidated our leadership in the US yogurt market, thanks to our Greek-style yogurt line. Our Russian platform—created by the successful merger of Danone and Unimilk—experienced vibrant, profitable growth. And our Waters division reported strong, ongoing growth, thanks in particular to demand for aquadrinks.

"We also achieved major progress on initiatives that will make our group stronger starting in 2014: in Europe, we renovated our product portfolio and undertook ambitious cost-reduction and streamlining to boost our competitive edge; in Africa, we integrated Morocco's Centrale Laitière and acquired an interest in Fan Milk, operating in Ghana and Nigeria. Together these moves will drive our future growth.

"We are holding our course, focused on building a solid group and returning to sustainable, profitable growth in the course of 2014. This is the goal I have set our teams, and it is in this spirit that we are heading into the current year.”

 

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