Nestlé Waters is looking to further grow its business in Italy after a successful year in the country in 2006.

CEO Carlo Donati yesterday (7 March) told local reporters that the company is eyeing possible acquisition targets in Italy to bolster its stable of brands, which include Nestlé Vera and San Pellegrino.

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Nestlé Waters said there were "no specific plans" for an acquisition in Italy. However, she added: "We want to develop in Italy. If there is an opportunity, we will take it."

Nestlé Waters, which accounts for almost 10% of Nestlé's annual sales, saw its operating profit leap by 17.5% in 2006 to CHF834m (US$683m). Sales reached CHF9.6bn, up over 9% on the year.

The company strengthened its leadership of the Italian market last year thanks to rising sales of Nestlé Vera.