• Nestle Waters nine-month net sales slide by 11.8% to CHF5.08bn (US$5.64bn)
  • Water brands come under competitive price pressure in North America
  • Group sales down by 13.5% to CHF60.89bn
  • Expects to over-perform against organic growth range of 5% to 6%
Nestle said its water brands came under competitive price pressure North America

Nestle said its water brands came under competitive price pressure North America

Nestle Waters has recorded a drop in nine-month sales, hurt by competition in North America.

Net sales in the nine months to the end of September slid by 11.8% to CHF5.08bn (US$5.64bn), the firm reported today (20 October). The Perrier water producer said its brands came under competitive price pressure during the period in North America.

Despite this, Nestle Waters recorded underlying sales growth of 4.7%, which the company attributed to double-digit growth in emerging markets and strong performances from its international brands, Perrier and S. Pellegrino.

Nestle said it gained market share in Europe, with volume growth in France and Belguim driven by its Hépar, Vittel, Perrier and S.Pellegrino brands. There were also gains in the UK, Switzerland and Germany, the firm said.

Nestle's group sales in the period were down by 13.5% to CHF60.89bn as a result of the strong Swiss franc and loss of earnings from the disposal of eyecare company Alcon. Foreign exchange hit sales by 15.1%, and divestitures by 5.7%.

Discounting the currency and disposal effects, Nestle raised its long-term growth outlook, based on organic growth of 7.3%.

For the full-year, despite input cost pressures, Nestle said it expects to "slightly over-perform" against its long-term organic growth range of 5% to 6%.

"In a tough environment, we continued to build our capabilities and positions for the future while maintaining strong growth across regions and categories," said Nestle's CEO, Paul Bulcke. "The constant renovation of our existing product portfolio together with our strong pipeline of game-changing innovations resulted in many market share gains."

Nestle's share price was down 0.39% to CHF51.35 at 1029 BST today.

Click here to view the full earnings release.