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After a record 2015, Sanpellegrino sees more sparkling results in current year

by Emanuele Scarci

Sanpellegrino is enjoying an historic record in turnover and profits, driven by exports of soft drinks and mineral water. In 2015 the multinational reached €1 billion in revenues, exactly €991 million (+13.4%) while grew 50% to €107 million. Last year €29.2 million were invested in new products development, technological innovation and an increase in capacity, and a further €150 million will be invested in the next three years.

“2015 was an exceptional year thanks to favorable seasonal climate factors, but also to a structural recovery in consumption,” said CEO Stefano Agostini. “We are proud of our record results. In the first half of 2016 we have seen further growth, also for what concerns export, but not like 2015, which makes a difficult comparison to beat.”

For Sanpellegrino, the weather factor was responsible last year for 60% of the growth: the remaining 40% was due to the structural increase in consumption.

In Italy, the turnover grew by 5.4% to €430 million and exports (between affiliates and final customers) by 27% to €560 million. The greatest increases were registered in the US, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Furthermore, Sanpellegrino has finalized the sale of Recoaro, the brand that last year had a turnover of €27 million between soft drinks and water.

Sanpellegrino is a leader in the Italian market (together with San Benedetto, Sant’Anna and Norda) with its mineral water brands, Levissima, Nestlé Vera, Acqua Panna, and Recoaro.

In addition, it produces soft drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, and iced tea. In 2015 Sanpellegrino has posted a record growth, +23%, in soft drinks to €260 million, a jump of 18% in sparkling water to €348 million and of 6% for natural mineral water to €311 million. Even tea has done well (+9%); while energy drinks (-11%) and diger selz have done badly, despite having only a marginal impact.

Large retail chains claim that Sanpelligrino mineral water has grown by 0.2% to a 16.6% share and the glass bottles maintain a 21% share; in restaurants, it has consolidated its leadership by 1.1% to 30.8%. The leading brand Levissima has a turnover of €148 million.

Last April, Sanpellegrino, which belongs to Nestlé Waters, owned by the Swiss conglomerate Nestle, has begun the production of the plant in Castrocielo with a maxi investment of €16 million.

The consolidated financial statements also include the Cuban Los Portales, 50.02% owned by Nestlè Waters and 49.98% by Coralsa. On the Caribbean island, Los Portales has two production plants and four sales agencies and since 2011 the revenues have almost quadrupled to €18.1 million, but the dividend payments have almost stopped.

For this reason, €49 million have been classified as “unavailable liquidity,” being the equivalent subject to the availability of foreign exchange in Cuba. “We include Los Portales on our consolidated financial statements and offer also the flavors,” comments Agostini, “but the company is managed from the US. After all, these are normal risks for a multinational: just think about Venezuela or the exports halted by the sanctions to Russia or the situation created by Brexit.