Dow Jones Newswires: Danone posts profit fall and sees ‘volatile and uncertain’ 2020

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Danone SA said Wednesday that net profit fell for 2019 and it issued new guidance for 2020.

The French food company BN, +1.18%  said net profit for the year was 1.93 billion euros ($2.09 billion), compared with EUR2.35 billion the year previous. An analyst consensus provided by Danone saw net profit at EUR2.49 billion.

Full-year sales rose 2.6% on a like-for-like basis to EUR25.29 billion, ahead of an analysts’ consensus provided by Danone. The recurring operating margin for the year was 15.2%.

Sales in the fourth quarter were up 4.1% on a like-for-like basis to EUR6.24 billion.

Danone proposed a dividend of EUR2.10 a share for 2019, up from EUR1.94 the previous year.

Looking ahead, the company said it targets mid-single-digit recurring earnings per share growth, reflecting a like-for-like sales growth of between 2% and 4% and a recurring operating margin above 15%.

In the mid-term, Danone also said it expects to deliver recurring EPS growth in the mid-to-high-single digits with 3% to 5% sales growth on a like-for-like basis.

“Danone assumes that economic conditions in 2020 will remain particularly volatile and uncertain overall…with an additional pressure on the world economy since the beginning of the year related to the Covid-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan in China last December,” the company said.

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