PARIS (Reuters) -French food group Danone will step up its focus on health and medical nutrition as it seeks to grow sales and boost cash generation from 2025 to 2028, the company said on Thursday.

The maker of Activia yoghurt, Evian water and Aptamil baby food, expects to achieve annual like-for-like net sales growth of between 3% and 5% for the 2025-28 period, in line with the target it had set for 2024.

That should allow Danone to achieve a double-digit Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) and progress towards its long-term target to have free cash flow of 3 billion euros, the company said ahead of a presentation to investors in Amsterdam.

The market had "fairly low expectations," Robert Schramm-Fuchs, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors told Reuters on Monday, as he said the expectation was for Danone to keep the targets unchanged from the ones it had set for 2022-2024.

He added he thought Danone might set out a pathway of how it could become a 3 billion euros free cash flow company, which would be an upside.

"I don't think it's a big investor expectation at this stage, but I think this would be clearly helpful," Robert Schramm-Fuchs said.

Previously Danone had set the same goal for like-for-like sales growth of 3-5% and for recurring operating income to grow faster than net sales for the 2022-2024 period.

CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique has attempted to stabilize sales and build more predictable revenues since taking the helm in 2021. Going forward, the company hopes to diversify and make itself less reliant on its core yoghurt and water brands.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Agata Rybska; Editing by Michael Perry)

By Dominique Vidalon and Agata Rybska