Danone Says Moroccan Unit Boosts Profit

PARIS (AP) — French yogurt and bottled water maker Danone SA says its first-half earnings rose 10 percent after its takeover of a subsidiary in Morocco helped boost profit.

The company behind Dannon yogurt and Evian water says it made 972 million euros ($1.27 billion), up from 881 million euros a year earlier.

Earnings were boosted by Danone's February takeover of its Moroccan subsidiary Centrale Laitiere.

However, Danone said that on an underlying basis its profit slipped 4 percent in the period with weak sales in Europe continuing to offset gains internationally. Rising raw material prices also cut into profit.

Danone is in the midst of a 200 million euro cost-cutting effort aimed at reversing its falling profitability.

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