The Fresh Dairy Products division reported sales up +2.6% like-for-like, buoyed as anticipated by renewed growth in North America. Growth includes a slight -0.6% decline in volumes and a steep +3.2% rise in value.
Business in the CIS & North America area picked up markedly: In the United States, growth gathered pace over the quarter, driven by targeted investments backing brands and by the category’s return to growth. In Russia, with consumer demand sluggish, Danone continued to enhance the portfolio through higher prices and a positive mix effect, once again offsetting the significant decline in volumes in low valueadded segments.
In Europe, the division pursued a concerted effort to gradually steer its business back to profitable structural growth. Fourth-quarter trends are largely in line with those observed in the third quarter of the year. This includes, in particular, the sequential improvement in volumes, supported by the favorable basis of comparison signaling the end of PRGM (Profitable Revenue Growth Management).
The ALMA region reported a marked rise in sales reflecting contrasting performances in emerging countries, with positive results in Argentina, Mexico and Japan, and a slowdown in Brazil in a very volatile economy.