Companynews // 02/06/2009

Gerolsteiner remains market leader despite slight losses in sales

2009 change in strategy: The market leader concentrates on core competence

Gerolstein, February 6 2009. In spite of sales and turnover losses, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG was able to maintain its position as brand name mineral water market leader in 2008, with a value based market share of 7.1 percent (Source: AC Nielsen). Gerolsteiner sold 6,5 million hectoliters of mineral water and mineral-water-plus products in 2008, 4 percent less than in the previous year. The net goods turnover saw a downturn of 2.5 percent, coming to a total of 197 million euro. This downward trend is due to both the cool weather in the previous year as well as the growing competition from discounters. In 2008 for the first time over 50 percent of all mineral water sold in Germany was purchased at discounters. The gastronomy, although a difficult business segment, saw some positive development. In this area Gerolsteiner managed to achieve 1.8 percent of growth contrary to the general trend.


Focus: Carbonated mineral water

Under Axel Dahm's leadership, who has been head of the executive board since September, the company has initiated a change in strategy: 2009 is a year of reorientation and consolidation. In Axel Dahm's opinion that means returning to and focusing on core competences:

"Gerolsteiner as a brand stands first and foremost for excellent quality mineral water, especially carbonated mineral water - such as Medium and Sprudel. This line of products constitutes 84 percent of the company's total sales." That is why the entire portfolio was reappraised in the course of the reorganization. Non-carbonated Gerolsteiner Naturell and natural mineral water based beverages remain important products in Gerolsteiner's range of goods. So do successful concepts such as for instance Gerolsteiner Moment, which once again managed to achieve further growth in 2008. The complexity of the product range is being reduced at the same time. As part of this reduction the sports-drink Gerolsteiner Sport will be taken off the market - after all: "the best sports-drink is mineral water itself", says Dahm.


Reusable bottles retain the lead

In 2008 the predominant part of Gerolsteiner's sales volume - 79.3 percent to be precise - was sold in reusable PET and glass bottles. "An important pillar in Gerolsteiner's core competence is the business with reusable PET and glass packaging. We set store in reusable bottles because it continues to be of importance to the mineral water consumer. It is the best way to maintain awareness of the level of quality of a premium mineral water. When consumers rediscover the benefits of reusable packaging, changes in attitude and awareness might again start to emerge", says Dahm.


Maintaining consistent image awareness: Quality can be tasted

"It is our goal to convince consumers in the region and all over Germany of the superior quality of our mineral water and to make it even clearer to them why it is worthwhile to spend good money on good water. The difference between excellent premium mineral water such as Gerolsteiner and a cheap discount mineral water is the exceptionally high and well balanced mineral content and the excellent smooth flavor", explains Dahm. A media wide campaign will be launched in spring in order to illustrate and clearly communicate the superior quality of Gerolsteiner mineral water.


For further information please contact:

Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG

Heike Görres, PR-Manager Corporate Communications

Vulkanring - 54567 Gerolstein, Germany

Phone: Germany-(0)6591-14-237 - Fax: Germany-(0)6591-14-249