Danone Reorganizes Structure, Lays Out Asset Review Plan to Cope With Virus--Update
-- Danone reshapes management and lays out a plan to achieve
-- Chief Financial Officer Cecile Cabanis will leave in February
-- The company restated full-year guidance while reporting a
third-quarter sales decline
By Giulia Petroni
Danone SA laid out a plan that includes a reorganization of its
structure and strategic review of its asset portfolio as it adapts
to the new challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.
The French food company on Monday said Chief Financial Officer
Cecile Cabanis would leave in February 2021 and be succeeded by
Juergen Esser, currently CFO of the waters and Africa divisions.
Mr. Esser will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel
Faber and be a member of the executive committee.
As part of a major reshape of its organization, Danone appointed
Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant as CEOs of Danone
International and Danone North America respectively, effective on
Nov. 1. It also named Henri Bruxelles as newly created chief
operating officer for end-to-end design to delivery.
The company said it expects to start implementing its plan from
the first quarter of 2021.
Danone reinstated its guidance for the full year, saying it now
targets recurring operating margin at 14% and 1.8 billion euros
($2.11 billion) in free cash flow. It added it's currently
reviewing its portfolio and assets, particularly its Argentina
business and Vega brand, as it targets a 3% to 5% profitable growth
in the mid term on a like-for-like basis.
Sales in the third-quarter of the year amounted to EUR5.82
billion from EUR6.42 billion in the previous-year period. An
analysts' consensus compiled by FactSet had forecast the figure at
On a like-for-like basis, sales fell 2.5%.
Sales in Europe and North America improved in the quarter, while
the rest of the world--including China, Latin America and
Africa--experienced continued pressure.
The essential dairy and plant-based business delivered strong
growth, with sales rising 3.7% in the quarter, while specialized
nutrition saw a 5.7% decline on year partly due to China's negative
performance. The waters division showed some improvements compared
to the previous quarter, but still suffered the negative effects of
lockdown policies, Danone said.
The company expects the fourth quarter to be affected by channel
dynamics and macroeconomic headwinds due to the pandemic as the
environment remains volatile.
Write to Giulia Petroni at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 19, 2020 03:09 ET (07:09 GMT)
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