Nestle Waters has posted a rise in turnover for 2003. The water bottling division of Nestle Group announced yesterday that turnover increased by 4.5% year-on-year, to CHF8.1 billion (US$6.276 billion).

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) for the company also increased, by 12.4% to CHF782m.

Sales in Europe climbed by 8.6% in 2003, compared to a year-on-year rise of 4.7% a year earlier. The increase was credited to the hot summer over the continent.

Earlier this month, Nestle dismissed reports that it was planning to sell its Perrier mineral water brand. The food and beverages company did admit, however, that job cuts would have to be made in its bottled water division in order to improve profitability.