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April 20, 2021, 1:51 a.m. EDT

Danone confirms 2021 guidance as sales fall

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By Olivia Bugault

Danone SA said Tuesday that first-quarter sales fell, dragged by the coronavirus pandemic that is still affecting its activities, while confirming its guidance for the full year.

The French food company reported sales of 5.66 billion euros ($6.81 billion) compared with EUR6.24 billion for the previous year period. Sales dropped 9.4% on a reported basis and 3.3% on a like-for-like basis.

An analysts' consensus provided by Danone had sales at EUR5.59 billion.

"We continue to expect a return to like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter, and to profitable growth in the second half of 2021," Danone's interim co-Chief Executives Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant said.

Danone's waters division registered a decline in net sales of 11.6% on a like-for-like basis during the quarter, while sales at its essential diary and plant-based business grew 1.6%. Specialized nutrition reported a 7.7% decline in sales on a like-for-like basis.

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

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