Danone has recorded a fall in sales of 2.5% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis for its third quarter, a result which the company claims is ‘broadly in line with expectations’.
The owner of Evian and Volvic saw an improvement in its Waters business versus the 28% decline in sales seen in Q2. However, sales still dropped 13.5% on an LFL basis, with volumes decreasing 8.1%.
The quarter saw a ‘strong acceleration’ of Danone’s Essential Dairy and Plant-based (EDP) division with LFL sales growth of 3.7%.
The firm’s Specialized Nutrition business experienced a 5.7% decline in sales in Q3, taking it into negative growth for the first nine months of the year, with a 0.2% decline on an LFL basis.
Registering overall sales of €5.82 billion for the quarter, Danone also announced several business changes ‘to progress with its adaptation plans to a new Covid-world’.
These include the appointment of two macro-regional CEOs, in charge of Danone international and Danone North America, and a COO in charge of a newly created design-to-delivery function, integrating research & innovation, cycles & procurement, operations, and quality.
Meanwhile, the company says that current CFO, Cécile Cabanis, is leaving in February 2021 after 16 years with Danone and will be succeeded by Juergen Esser, current CFO of Danone’s Waters and Africa divisions.
Danone has also revealed that it will be conducting a full strategic review of its portfolio of brands, SKUs and assets starting with an immediate review of its strategic options for Argentina, the Vega brand and ‘possibly further assets’.
“Our Q3 results reflect how much the Covid-world and its cohort of sanitary measures, border closures, uncertainty in consumer sentiment and some structural changes affect our business,” said Emmanuel Faber, chairman and CEO of Danone.
“As we expect continued volatility in our other businesses in the short term, the return of EDP growth beyond 3%, both for Q3 and YTD (and stellar performance of plant-based) is a north star to our ambition to reconnect as soon as possible with our 3-5% mid-term profitable growth agenda. Our discipline on portfolio focus and capital allocation will be an additional enabler.”
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