Danone sticks to goals after weak start to 2021

Lockdowns haven't been kind to Danone.

The French food group said Tuesday (April 20) that sales dropped 3.3% in the first quarter.

Bottled water was among the problems, with fewer thirsty people out and about.

Sales of the drinks fell over 11%.

Baby food is another headache.

Sales have fallen in line with declining birth rates, and been hit by health-crisis related disruption in China.

The declines were offset by rising sales of dairy and plant-based products.

Danone is the world's largest maker of yoghurt.

The firm finds itself looking for a new boss, however.

Former chief executive Emmanuel Faber was abruptly ousted last month.

He clashed with some board members over strategy, and was criticised by investors over the group's lacklustre returns.

On Tuesday the firm wouldn't say how far it had got in finding a replacement.

But it has previously said it's looking for an external candidate.

For all the troubles, Danone is sticking to its targets.

It aims to return to profitable growth in the second half.

Shares in the firm fell over 2.5% in early trade Tuesday.