April 20, 2017 / 4:08 PM / a year ago

Danone raises 2017 EPS guidance after WhiteWave acquisition

PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - French food group Danone on Thursday raised its guidance for recurring earnings per share (EPS) growth for 2017, having now closed its $12.5 billion acquisition of U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave foods Co.

Danone said it was targeting double-digit recurring EPS at constant exchange rates for 2017.

In February, Danone said it was targeting earnings per share growth of above 5 percent in 2017, excluding WhiteWave, having achieved growth of 9.3 percent in 2016.

Danone announced in July 2016 plans to buy WhiteWave - maker of Silk almond milk and Earthbound Farm Organic salad - in its largest acquisition since 2007, a move it said would double the size of its U.S. business. The deal closed April 12.

The world’s largest yoghurt maker, with brands including Actimel and Activia, also reported a 0.7 percent rise in first-quarter underlying sales to 5.46 billion euros ($5.88 billion).

The quarterly performance was in line with the company-compiled average of 18 analyst estimates of 0.6 percent like-for-like growth in group sales.

$1 = 0.9296 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by GV De Clercq

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