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Sales of baby food keep on growing

BABY food and medical nutrition helped Danone's first-half operating profit grow by 8.1 percent, while price cuts and ad campaigns boosted its main dairy business in the second quarter.

Operating profit was 1.206 billion euros (US$1.7 billion), up from 1.177 billion euros a year earlier.

The world's biggest yoghurt maker said yesterday its operating margin rose to 16 percent from 15.3 percent.

Danone, whose brands include Actimel and Evian, saw its dairy business suffer during the economic crisis and demand for bottled water decline, while its baby food and medical nutrition divisions achieved significant growth.

Volumes in fresh dairy, which contributed 57 percent of group sales in the first half, rose 2.7 percent in the second quarter.

"Our scenario for 2009 remains that current consumption patterns in our key emerging and developed markets will continue over the balance of the year, with no significant improvement or dramatic breakdown," Danone said.


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