Paris, March 08, 2022
- New CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, together with a strengthened leadership team, will present Danone’s new strategic plan “Renew Danone” today at a Capital Market Event (CME).
- The plan will enable Danone to reconnect with a sustainable profitable growth model. The delivery of the plan will be facilitated by a greater alignment between purpose and performance.
Over the past six months, Antoine de Saint-Affrique has completed a holistic review of Danone with the objective to restore growth and drive value creation. The review confirmed that Danone operates in healthy, on-trend and growing categories. The company benefits from a strong portfolio of brands – both global and local, leading positions and a balanced geographical exposure to Developed and Emerging markets. The review also confirmed the value of Danone’s commitment to performance and social and environmental responsibility, and its pioneering roots to provide people access to health through food.
However, the review also recognised Danone’s historic underperformance compared to its markets, which can be attributed to a lack of focus on its core portfolio, late and sub-scale innovation efforts, inconsistent execution and low investments.
In this context, and under the oversight of Danone’s Board of Directors, Antoine de Saint-Affrique and the Executive Committee have built a plan that aims at restoring Danone’s performance, competitiveness and value creation for the long-term.
The plan is articulated around four strategic pillars:
- Restoration of Danone’s competitiveness in core categories and geographies;
- Selective expansion of Danone’s presence, in terms of segments, channels and geographies;
- Active seeding of future growth avenues;
- Active portfolio rotation.
The plan will allow Danone to reconnect with a sustainable profitable growth model. It will be based upon an end-to-end step up in the quality of execution, a strengthened innovation model geared for scale and impact, and increased investments in consumer value, as well as brands and commercial development.
Delivery of the plan will be facilitated by a greater alignment between purpose and performance, consistently putting consumer and customer at the heart of everything Danone does. The company will restore passion for execution, a stronger discipline on capital allocation, and a greater sense of urgency in seizing opportunities and tackling issues.
Based on this, Danone announces a new set of targets for the 2022-2024 period:
- 2022 will be a foundational year with price-led like-for-like sales growth between +3 and +5% and a recurring operating margin above 12%, assuming the reinvestment of 100% of Local First savings, a productivity higher than last year and a low to mid-teens level of input cost inflation (based on current macro-economic assumptions);
- 2023-2024 ambition, profitable growth: like-for-like sales growth between +3 and +5% with recurring operating income growing faster than like-for-like net sales;
- Sustainable value creation and shareholder returns: sequential ROIC improvement over the period supported by capital allocation discipline, portfolio rotation reaching around 10% of net sales, an annual capital expenditure envelope equivalent to a maximum of 4.5% of net sales, and further improvement in working capital;
- Disciplined financial policy: healthy balance sheet with targeted net debt to EBITDA ratio below 3x, and stable or growing yearly dividend.
Gilles Schnepp, Chairman’s statement
“Today is an important milestone for Danone. We have a new CEO, a new strategy, and a clear objective: accelerate organic growth to restore sustainable value creation. The “Renew Danone” plan has the unanimous support of the Board and provides the company with a clear compass.
Complementing this strategy is the Board renewal program we initiated in July last year. By April 2023, we will have completed the Board renewal with new senior leaders from industry and business to ensure that it comprises the right blend of capabilities, perspectives and experiences to support Danone’s long-term success. I want to thank the current board members: they showed a great sense of responsibility and collective interest, and created the conditions for Danone to solidly enter into this new phase.
The strategy set out today by Antoine is yet another step in Danone’s evolution. Building on Danone’s strong roots, the plan puts in place the foundations to refocus our business on growth, while creating sustainable returns for our shareholders, and all our stakeholders.”
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO’s statement
“Renew Danone” is all about creating the conditions for sustainable and competitive growth, and then delivering consistently in a way that creates sustainable value for all.
Danone is a one-of-a-kind company, with a culture anchored in a vision combining entrepreneurship and responsibility. It is a company with iconic local and global brands, playing in growing and on-trend categories. Danone has been leading the way in many fields: branding, innovation, people’s development and sustainability. But we have also been underperforming our markets for a while and have a lot we can improve on.
In the short term, we have to take better care of our core, with a renewed focus on great execution and strong innovations. We will face into our issues with greater speed and without compromise but will also make sure we better leverage our real strengths.
We first must win where we are. We also have the opportunity to expand our brands in places they should be. This, combined with active portfolio management, will bring us back in the race. In parallel, we will start seeding for the future with the ambition to outperform our markets then.
None of this can be achieved without the passion of the Danoners. Building from our value, we want to revive a culture where performance and sustainability go hand in hand, and where you see the best of being local and global coming together. We want Danone to be known for being the home of great talents and great brands, and a synonym for great innovation and great execution.
We are embarking on a renewal journey with a worthy destination: bringing Danone back to where it belongs.”
Today’s CME presentations will be broadcast from 8:00 a.m. (Paris time) on the Capital Market Event’s website. Related slides will also be available.
Phone number: [tel:+33 1 40 70 11 89]