High-flying water firm Highland Spring pledged to flood French giants Evian out of the top spot in the market today after they announced record sales figures.
The company, which is based in Scotland, saw its turnover for 2011 increase by 15 per cent – up some £10.4m – on the previous year, bringing the firm’s profits to a cool £79.8m.
The company’s operating profits also soared from just under £1m to £5.6m in the same period.
However despite this the company are still the market’s number two behind French rivals Evian, but chief executive, Les Montgomery, hinted this was about to change.
He said: “We are delighted with the growth we have achieved in such a challenging economic climate.
“This enabled us to absorb some significant raw material cost price increases during 2011.
“This performance consolidates Highland Spring’s position as the leading supplier of bottled water in the UK, with one in every five litres of bottled water consumed being delivered by the Highland Spring Group.
“Our sights are now firmly set on reaching the leading brand position in the UK market for Highland Spring, which is well within our grasp and will be achieved imminently.
“We expect to have tripped the 200 million litres threshold for the brand within the next few weeks, an increase of 17 million litres on 2011.
“As we reach the milestone of bottling and selling over 400 million litres for the Group during a 12-month period, we will continue with our long-term investment programme across our five bottling plants, both from an operational and marketing perspective.
“This year is shaping up well and we are confident of reporting increases in sales turnover and underlying profitability as the year draws to a close.”
The Perthshire based firm managed to increase demand last year by launching its budget brand Hydr8 and by targeting retail outlets with ‘meal deal’ offers.
The move saw Highland Spring sell over 374 million litres in 2011 and now one in every five litres of water consumed in the UK is produced by the 33-year-old company.
Highland Spring source their water from protected land, comprising of rugged volcanic rock in the Ochill Hills, near Stirling.
The company have also invested in flavoured water products and have expanded to open plants in Lennoxtown, near Glasgow, and the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
The firm’s Welsh plant saw a massive increase in output from three million litres in 2010 to 23 million litres this year.
Highland Spring is currently number one in the sparkling water market.