Gerolsteiner Brunnen has reported a flat set of figures for the first seven months of 2007.

The German mineral water company, which is controlled by local brewer Bitburger, said late last week that net sales between January and July were up by a negligible 1.5%, coming in at EUR125.1m (US$169.8m). In volume terms, sales matched last year's, hitting 4.2m hectolitres.

Gerolsteiner noted that, with a market share of 8%, the drinks company is the leading mineral water brand in Germany.

"The sales trend in 2007 for the entire industry was influenced strongly by outstandingly good sales in the first third of the year, followed by a so far only mediocre summer," the company said. "Compared to the previous year the industry thus shows a minus of about 1% in sales and turnover."

Gerolsteiner noted that "non-reusable packaging and innovations" continue to drive growth across the water sector in the country. "Gerolsteiner is participating in this trend and has increased the percentage of non-reusable packaging from 12% to 19%," a spokesperson said.

While Bitburger holds a 51% stake in the company, the Buse Group Bad Hoeningen has 33%, while 16% of shares are in private ownership.