Danone boost on China baby formula

Danone’s sales of baby milk formula in China rose strongly in the third quarter, beating forecasts and sending the French food company’s shares to a record high. 

The company published its strong sales figures as Le Monde reported that chairman Franck Riboud is to stand down and hand over to chief executive Emmanuel Faber who will become CEO and chairman.

The company is the latest consumer goods group to come under investor pressure to improve results and it needs to deliver on a profit margin target it recently set.

Mr Riboud handed the CEO role to Mr Faber in 2014 to prepare his succession at a time when Danone was facing criticism from US activist investor Nelson Pelz.

Danone is facing fierce competition in the China baby food market from Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser, but said it was gaining share in the country.

Nestle is the global market leader in infant formula, and CEO Ulf Mark Schneider recently identified infant nutrition as one of the company’s key areas. Reckitt Benckiser recently jumped into the business by buying Enfamil maker Mead Johnson. Strong Danone sales in China contributed to a 4.7% rise in underlying third-quarter, like-for-like sales.

Its dairy business was hit by a relatively unsuccessful Activia relaunch in Europe, while in China its baby food and waters businesses have had regulatory issues.

However, Danone, also the world’s largest yoghurt maker with Actimel and Activia said challenging conditions had hit its dairy business in Brazil, where sales fell by a double-digit rate.

Reuters


Lifestyle

Is there a natural treatment I could use instead of steroids and antibiotic drops for dry eye?Natural health: I suffer from chronic dry eye

Denise O’Donoghue checks in with several expats affected by the cancellation of shows in BritainIrish actors on the crisis the West End theatre industry faces

This month marks four decades since the release of the classic record that would also be Ian Curtis’s final album with Joy Division. Ed Power chats to a number of Cork music fans about what it meant to themJoy Division: Forty years on from Closer

Last week, I shared my lockdown experience. I asked for a more uniform approach, should there be another lockdown. I explained that I worked mornings. Maybe I should have been more specific: working 8am to 1pm without a break, I gave feedback and covered the curriculum, using our school’s online platform. In the afternoons, I looked after my three kids (all under ten) while my husband worked. It was a challenging time for everyone and the uncertainty around what I should have been doing as a teacher made it harder.Diary of an Irish teacher: I want to get back to work. But I would like to do it safely

More From The Irish Examiner