VEVEY, Switzerland -- Nestlé SA, the world's largest food company, reported nine-month sales of 5.6 billion Swiss francs ($6.07 billion) for its bottled water products. That represents 5.8% organic growth and 4% real internal growth in the first nine months of 2012.
The Vevey, Switzerland-based company reported that its water sales grew in all regions, fueled by growth in North America and emerging markets.
In the U.S. and Canada, Nestlé said it continued to see "dynamic growth" for its Perrier and S.Pellegrino premium waters, as well as in the value brand Nestlé Pure Life. Among Nestlé's regional brands, Poland Spring and Ice Mountain were also highlighted in the company's financial report.
The company added: European growth was "good" in the third quarter, particularly in France, the UK, Poland and Hungary. Vittel, Buxton, Perrier and S.Pellegrino were key contributors, Nestlé said. The emerging markets "grew double-digit" as Nestlé Pure Life and such local brands as La Vie, Erikli and Al Manhal performed well.
Companywide, the Swiss food giant -- known for Kit Kat chocolate, Nescafé instant coffee, Jenny Craig weight loss products and Haagen-Dazs ice cream -- reported a better-than-expected increase in nine-month sales and said it continues to grow even in developed markets hit by poor consumer confidence. Nestlé total sales rose 11% to 67.57 billion Swiss francs ($73 billion), ahead of analyst expectations of 67.3 billion francs ($72.74 billion), but slower than this year's first six months.
Paul Bulcke, Nestlé chief executive said: "Nestlé's growth in the first nine months is in line with our expectations. It is the result of the capabilities built over time in innovation, distribution and engaging with consumers. We delivered double-digit growth in emerging markets, where we are expanding our routes to market and enhancing our product offerings. We grew in the intensely competitive developed markets in spite of a general economic malaise and low levels of consumer confidence. Our continued momentum in real internal growth, combined with some easing of input cost pressures, allows us to confirm our full-year outlook."
See Nestlé's full release