PARIS (AP) -- Shares in French yogurt and bottled water company Groupe Danone SA fell on Thursday after the company reduced its medium term annual sales growth target.

In Paris afternoon trading, shares were down 3.8 percent at ¤40.92 ($60.82).

The maker of Evian mineral water and Activia yogurt said late Wednesday that it expects growth of at least 5 percent in like-for-like annual sales, which exclude currency effects and acquisitions, in coming years.

Previously, its medium-term guidance was for growth of 8-10 percent.

"The world at large has gone, and is still going through, a profound transformational phase which will have a long-lasting impact on society and on consumer behavior in specific," said Emmanuel Faber, co-chief operating officer of Danone, in a statement.

The Paris-based company kept its 2009 earnings goals unchanged. These include 10 percent growth in underlying fully diluted earnings per share at constant exchange rates.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

Recommended for you