Nestlé Waters, one of the world's leading producers of bottled water, is upbeat after releasing strong growth figures for 2006, and has signalled its intention to become a leading player in the market for bottled water and particularly value-added water.
Carlo Donati, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestlé Waters, said sales grew by 9.4% in 2006 to reach a record level of CHF 9.6 billion (US $8.1 billion), compared to CHF 8.8 billion in 2005 (US $7.57 billion).
On a like-for-like basis, with a constant exchange rate and consolidation scope, sales rose by 8.2%. The growth in sales outperformed that of the market, which allowed Nestlé Waters to consolidate its worldwide leadership and increase its market share to 19.1%.
"2006 was a good year for Nestlé Waters," Donati said. "It confirmed that our business model is performing well and sustainably. This is reflected both by the increase in our operating margin of more than 60 basis points and by the growth in our market share, despite the particularly difficult environment. 2007 marks a new stage in the development of Nestlé Waters.
"To maintain profitable growth, which since 1992 has enabled us regularly to consolidate and secure our positions around the world, we will now expand our presence in the sector of ‘water +' and more added value healthy beverages."
North America was the main driving factor behind Nestlé Waters' growth. In a competitive market strongly influenced by heavy promotional activity and pressure on prices for small formats, Nestlé Waters North America succeeded in maintaining profitable growth and consolidated its leadership on the market by more than 150 basis points, rising from a market share of 37% in 2005 to 38.5% in 2006.
This performance also reflects a stronger position held by Nestlé Waters in the Home & Office Delivery (HOD) sector, where Nestlé Waters' market share stands at 25.8% in a sector experiencing a marked slowdown.
In Europe, the situation was more uneven. Nestlé Aquarel boosted its market share in every country where the brand is sold, partly owing to its repositioning with a lower price aimed at encouraging family consumption. Its organic growth was maintained at 28.6%. In France, in a market still sluggish compared to past performances, Nestlé Waters consolidated its leadership, reaping the benefits of an active innovation policy for its international brands, Perrier and Vittel.
Nestlé's water brands includes Pure Life, which is present in 21 countries and is the second biggest selling bottled water in the world.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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