Nestlé Waters is to cut 250 jobs at its production plant for Vittel and Contrex mineral water brands in eastern France.

The group is seeking 250 voluntary redundancies among the plant's 1,300 staff.

To be implemented in 2010 and 2011, the cuts are a consequence of a significant structural decline on France's bottled water market. Still water sales have fallen for six years consecutively, Nestlé Waters said.

Annual production at the Vittel-Contrex plant has fallen more than 30% since 2006, it added.

A separate voluntary redundancy scheme, covering 329 jobs, is already underway at the plant and will run until 2011. To date, 223 staff having taken early retirement, the company confirmed.   

Between 2005 and 2009, Nestlé Waters has invested EUR125m (US$187m) to modernise the plant.