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Danone CEO Says The Group Has No Plan To Sell Any Of Its Three Businesses

By Donna Ahern
Danone CEO Says The Group Has No Plan To Sell Any Of Its Three Businesses

Danone's new chief executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique said on Tuesday the French food group has no plans to sell any of its three businesses, after its shares rose last week on a report of merger interest from dairy group Lactalis.

Saint-Affrique said last month that there was "nothing wrong" with Danone's businesses - dairy and plant-based products, infant formula and bottled water - a view he reiterated at Tuesday's annual shareholder meeting.

"Our category portfolio is growing as it is in line with consumer' expectations. We have no plan to part with them regardless of what rumours say," Saint-Affrique said.

'Key To Boosting Sales' 

An April 20 report in business newspaper La Lettre A said unlisted French dairy firm Lactalis had for months been studying a possible full or partial takeover of Danone.


Saint-Affrique said that the key to boosting sales growth was improving execution, investing in worthwhile brands and innovation and disposing of underperforming assets.

'Strong Start' 

Earlier this month, it was reported that shares in Danone rose over 8%, lifted by the report in the French newspaper of the merger interest from rival Lactalis and stronger than expected first-quarter sales, which reassured investors its revival plan was on track.

Despite the robust start to the year, the maker of Activia yoghurt and Evian water kept its 2022 financial goals unchanged.

Saint-Affrique said that is pursuing a revival plan amid mounting input costs and uncertainties caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has forced Danone to suspend investments in Russia.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A-brand stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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