CORRECTED-Danone plans to double India nutrition sales in 3 yrs

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 19:00 hrs

(Corrects to show sales refer to nutrition unit. Adds dropped word "nutrition" to headline. Also adds "nutrition unit's" to first paragraph.)

MUMBAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - French food group Danone plans to double its nutrition unit's sales in India in the next three years, a company executive said, as the world's top yogurt maker raises its focus on emerging markets to drive growth when its traditional European markets are slowing.

Danone early this year paid about $355 million to buy Indian drugmaker Wockhardt's nutrition business that sells popular brands such as Dexolac, Farex and Nusobee. The brands compete with Danone's top global rival Nestle.

"India's growth in the nutrition sector will outpace China's (growth)," Laurent Marcel, managing director at Danone's India nutrition business unit, told reporters on Thursday. "We are here to expand."

India's baby nutrition market is valued about 25 billion rupees ($450.25 million), in which Danone holds about 8 percent share, he said.

($1 = 55.52 rupees) (Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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