By Giulia Petroni
Danone SA said Friday that 2020 results were hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and that it expects to return to growth from the second quarter of this year.
The French food company said net profit was 1.96 billion euros ($2.36 billion), compared with EUR1.93 billion the previous year.
Recurring net income, which excludes exceptional items, was down 13% at EUR2.19 billion. An analysts' consensus provided by Danone had the figure at EUR2.14 billion.
Full-year sales decreased 1.5% on a like-for-like basis to EUR23.62 billion, while the recurring operating margin for the year was 14%, in line with guidance.
Sales for the fourth quarter were down 1.4% like-for-like, but showed a sequential improvement compared to the previous quarters.
Looking ahead, Danone said it expects a tough first quarter of the year with continued channel headwinds and expects to return to sales growth from the second quarter and to profitable growth, including margin expansion, in the second half. Recurring operating margin is expected to be broadly in line with last year.
The company said it will propose a dividend of EUR1.94 a share, down 8% from last year.
Write to Giulia Petroni at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 19, 2021 01:50 ET (06:50 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.