Companynews // 09/05/2002

The mid-year balance shows remarkable changes in the water market

Gerolstein, 5 September 2002. The German water market is in the state of changing: Although the over-all sales in the industry increased by 6.7 percent (source: AC Nielsen), this development is practically exclusively due to an increase in private brands and bargain offers. In comparison, the industry's turnover only increased by 4.5 percent. This indicates, that selling conditions for brand name waters have gotten worse.

With its brand name products, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. shows a one percent gross increase and a six percent increase in turnover by 30 July 2002. Thus the company once again manages to distances itself from the industry's overall trend.


Market growth at the expense of brand name waters

In contrast to the growth of 6.7 percent on the overall market, brand name products are registering a one percent decline in sales. It is quite clear, that mineral water consumers are making their decision to buy increasingly dependent on the price, due to economic uncertainty.

Further proof of this change in purchasing patterns is the growing importance of turnover generated by discount trade: 17 percent of the water marketed in Germany is already sold to the consumer via this distribution channel. Discount trade was thus able to increase its water sales by 35 percent compared to the previous year.


The Gerolsteiner Well is holding its own due to stable growth

With sales of 4.5 million hectoliters of mineral water and soft drinks (+ 1 percent) as well as a net goods turnover of 124,4 million (+ 6 percent) in the first seven months of the year, the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. has again managed to successfully steer clear of this trend. By further growth of the value based market share to 9.6 percent (2001: 9.4 %) the company again proves the strength of their umbrella brand name Gerolsteiner.

The varieties Gerolsteiner Sprudel and Gerolsteiner Stille Quelle again assert themselves as Germany's most popular mineral waters. They have a value based market share of 10 or respectively 15.8 percent. At a growth-rate of 57 percent, Gerolsteiner Excelsis, the non-carbonated variety of the Gerolsteiner brand, is growing a lot faster than the rest of the market segment of CO2-free mineral waters (+ 28 percent).


Exports are still rising: sales increased by six percent to almost 131,000 hectoliters in the first seven months of the year. Over a quarter of Germany's mineral water exports is thus conducted by Gerolsteiner. Major importing countries are The USA and the Low Countries.


The Gerolsteiner Group remains on pervious year's level

With overall sales of 5.3 million hectoliters, Germany's largest association of wells manages to maintain the previous year's sales level. In line with the market, the net goods turnover of the Gerolsteiner Group has grown by 4.5 percent to 145 million euros.


Jörg Croseck, with Gerolsteiner since 1 September 2002 as Managing Director responsible for marketing, sales and personnel: "We are fully expecting the current trend in the market to continue: the gap between low-cost suppliers and the brand name market is going to grow bigger. Nevertheless we have managed to do very well. In view of this, we are expecting to show comparable sales and turnover figures by the end of the year."