Companynews // 02/04/2008

Market leader Gerolsteiner: Increase in market share despite minor drop in sales

Annual press release

Gerolstein, 01/29/2008. With a total sales volume of 6.8 million hectoliters of mineral water and mineral-water-plus products, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH Co. KG falls 4 percent short of last year's result. Due to the cool weather in the summer of 2007 the results achieved in 2006 could not be reached. In 2006 sales still saw an increase of more than 5 percent. The net goods turnover decreased by 3.3 percent to a total of 202 million euro. The number of employees remained the same, numbering 789. Despite the decline in development, Gerolsteiner as a brand still retains leadership-position in Germany, increasing its value based market share by an average of 8.4 percent in the final quarter of 2007 (Source: AC Nielsen, 2006 YTD 8.1 percent).

 

Steadily growing customer reach

 

Continuing as in 2006 one has again managed to steadily increase the customer reach. Dr. Peter Traumann, head of marketing, sales and export: "It is especially through Gerolsteiner Linée and Gerolsteiner Moment, both of which have surpassed our expectations by far, that we have managed to introduce new consumers to our brand. Last year we managed to reach approximately 13.2 percent of consumers of non-alcoholic beverages in Germany with our products. (Source: GfK) We have thus increased the number of our consumers by more than 50 percent since 2004, consistently fortifying our development away from being purely a mineral water specialist to becoming a supplier of non-alcoholic beverages."

 

The share of disposable return system bottles in Gerolsteiner's overall product portfolio is also growing. Showing an increase of about 35 percent compared to the previous year, more than 100 million liters of mineral water and mineral-water-plus products were bottled in disposable return system bottles.

 

Japan responsible for increasing sales in export

 

Gerolsteiner is experiencing growth in the export business: A sales increase of 6.5 percent compared to last year, resulting in a total of 259,000 hectoliters, as well as the major expansion of export activities in meanwhile 42 counties (2006: 35 countries) all over the world, are proof of the increasing activities based on the strategic measures toward internationalization.

 

Dr. Peter Traumann: "The driving force behind this positive development is to be found especially in the Asian market, with a total of 36,000 hectoliters. We opened up this market in 2006. Working in close cooperation with our Japanese import company, we developed a communication campaign, including TV, billboard advertising and print media activities, tailored specifically to the Japanese market. Gerolsteiner is to be established as the epitome of German mineral water. The USA remains Gerolsteiner's largest export market."

 

First price increase in seven years

 

Despite consistently increasing costs for energy, transport (Freeway toll for trucks), raw materials and personnel due to agreed wages, consumer prices for Gerolsteiner products have seen no increase since 2001. The market leader has announced a price increase in 2008 to match the development in costs. Dr. Peter Traumann: "This will result in a moderate price increase of 20 to 30 cent for a case of returnable bottles of Gerolsteiner mineral water."

 

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For questions and further information please contact:

 

Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG

Stefan Göbel - Head of Corporate Communications

Vulkanring - 54567 Gerolstein, Germany

Phone (Germany) : +49 (0) 6591-14-233 - Fax: +49 (0) 6591-14-249

E-Mail: stefan.goebel@gerolsteiner.com

Internet: www.gerolsteiner.de