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Danone to save $1.1 billion with Protein plan

Staff Writer | February 17, 2017
Danone plans to cut costs by $1.1 billion over the next three years, saying the turnaround of its European dairy business was taking longer than expected.
Food and business   Danone was cautious about the current year
The world's largest yoghurt maker was cautious about the current year, given deflationary consumer trends in Europe and rising milk prices.

Danone said it would review its financial goals after closing its $10 billion acquisition of U.S. organic food group WhiteWave, which is expected in the first quarter and which should boost earnings.

The owner of Evian water and Activia yoghurt is targeting earnings per share growth of above 5 percent in 2017, excluding WhiteWave. It achieved EPS growth of 9.3 percent in 2016.

The new savings plan - called "Protein" by Danone - will aim to cut spending on marketing and general expenses such as corporate travel, and will be partly used to fund future growth.

Chief Financial Officer Cecile Cabanis told analysts that Danone eyed "moderate" top line sales growth for 2017.