RUSSIA: Danone refutes Seventh Continent pricing claims

Posted by Josette Dunn on 13th August 2010

Danone has refuted claims from Russian grocery retailer Seventh Continent that it has increased its wholesale prices in the country by up to 31%.The French food giant confirmed there had been an increase but not to the extent claimed by Seventh Continent.

“Danone has increased prices for its products in Russia by 4% in average. [The] maximum increase for a single product was 9%,” the company told just-food yesterday (12 August).

The Activia owner added that the increase was its first increase since January 2009, and that Seventh Continent was informed of the hike on 6 July.

Earlier today, Seventh Continent announced that it has stopped buying milk or dairy products from Danone and Unimilk.

A Danone spokesperson said Seventh Continent accounts for less than 1.5% of the company’s sales volume.

The spokesperson also dispelled Seventh Continent’s claims that Danone and Unimilk, which are merging their businesses in Russia, are working together to increase pricing pressure on retailers.

“As for Seventh Continent accusations regarding agreed activities of Danone and Unimilk, we can state that our potential merger has not been yet approved by antitrust bodies and before official closure of the deal two our companies are acting totally independently and actually are competing with each other,” the spokesperson said.

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