Companynews // 08/27/2003

Successful 7-month balance

Gerolstein, 8/27/03 - strategic focus on brand business is stressed - with 82 percent growth, Gerolsteiner Naturell is way above market development - the toll for trucks in Germany is not to have any effect on consumer end prices

With sales of 4.6 million hectoliters of mineral water and mineral-water-plus products, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG shows a quantity increase of 6.8 percent in the first seven months of 2003. The net goods turnover for this time period has reached 128.1 million euros. "This positive development confirms that consistent brand management and the strategic focus on the umbrella brand name Gerolsteiner is the way to go" says Jörg Croseck, Gerolsteiner's Managing Director of marketing, distribution and personnel. In the context of this new alignment, Gerolsteiner sold its shares in the companies Glashäger Brunnen and Margon Brunnen as well as the soft drink brand Gerri in January 2003.


With a value based market share of 10 percent Gerolsteiner thus maintains its position as top-selling company in the mineral water industry. Gerolsteiner remains the most major mineral water brand in Germany, with a market share of 9.6 percent (value) - managing to hold its ground superbly in a highly competitive environment (source: AC Nielsen).

Besides weather effects on sales and a boom regarding reusable bottles - due to the introduction of a compulsory deposit on non-reusable bottles in Germany, it is primarily Gerolsteiner Naturell that takes credit for the positive development of the company: compared to its predecessor the non-carbonated mineral water registers a sales increase of 82 percent - reaching 204,000 hectoliters. Since its launch in January 2003, its market share has more than doubled in comparison to the same period in the previous year: in July 2003, Gerolsteiner Naturell claimed a value based market share of 4.1 percent, and is thus amongst Germany's top 4 brands in the market segment "non-carbonated mineral water". In Gerolsteiner's home base area Nordrhein (North Rhine) Gerolsteiner Naturell achieved a market share of 10.4 percent (value) in the month of July.

With a value based market share of 10.4 percent and respectively 14.5 percent, the varieties Gerolsteiner Sprudel (+ 2,3 percent) and Gerolsteiner Stille Quelle (+ 9 percent) are maintaining their status as Germany's most popular branded mineral water - and this in a market driven by private brands and cheap products.

The growth of Gerolsteiner's export business is undampened: in the first seven months of the year, exports have risen by 6.2 percent to 140,258 hectoliters.


Gerolsteiner profits from its focus on reusability

Gerolsteiner is managing to profit from its central focus on reusable packaging: the 93.9 percent overall share of reusable packaging more than compensates for the losses in the area of non-reusable packaging (- 37 percent). Reusable packaging made of PET is meanwhile gaining in importance - increasing its share of Gerolsteiner's packaging by 10.7 percent. 60 percent of Gerolsteiner's products are currently being bottled in PET reusable bottles.


No passing on of truck toll-costs to the end-consumer

"In order to guarantee a stable pricing policy for our brand products, we have decided not to pass on the extra costs accruing through the planned truck toll as of November 1st to shops and consumers", says Jörg Croseck. "We are convinced of thus preserving and strengthening the dynamic of Gerolsteiner as a brand."