French food group Danone posted a higher-than-expected 4.6 percent underlying rise in third-quarter sales on Monday, driven by strong baby food sales and as its core dairy division returned to positive growth.
Danone, however, said its water division faced more moderate growth in China, where it had started to adjust inventories of the Mizone brand, and it said it was keeping its full-year group profit and sales forecasts.
The world's largest yoghurt maker, whose brands include Actimel and Activia said third-quarter sales rose to 5.641 billion euros ($6.41 billion), with like-for-like growth of 4.6 percent against 4.5 percent in the second quarter.
Baby food sales jumped 10.9 percent like-for-like in the quarter.
The performance beat the company-compiled average of analyst estimates of 4.3 percent growth in group sales and a 7.4 percent rise in baby food sales.
For 2015, Danone kept its targets of like-for-like sales growth of between 4 and 5 percent, and a slight rise in its operating margin from 12.59 percent in 2014.
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