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Danone raises 2017 EPS guidance after WhiteWave acquisition

PARIS, April 20 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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