Nestle Waters has confirmed it is eyeing acquisitions in emerging markets in a bid to improve its sales performance.

The bottled water arm of Nestle, which represents around 10% of the Swiss group's total sales, confirmed to just-drinks today (13 July) it was focusing particularly on Brazil, having recently struggled in Europe and North America.

The group is eyeing possible acquisitions in emerging markets, alongside attempts to increase sales organically, said a spokesperson, confirming comments made to Reuters by Nestle executive vice-president John Harris. 

Bottled water blighted across-the-board sales rises in Nestle earlier this year. The division reported a 1.6% drop in water sales on an organic basis during 2008, mirroring a decline announced by rival firm Groupe Danone during the same period.

Nestle Waters operating margins also shrank, by 220 basis points, but like-for-like net sales for the 12 months of 2008 rose by 8% to CHF110bn (US$93.5bn).