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Highland Spring Group: Annual Results to 31 December 2022

Company reports strong brand resilience and continued progress against strategy.  

Highland Spring Group, producer of the UK’s leading natural source water brands, has posted its annual results for year end to 31 December 2022. For the third year running and against a backdrop of challenging market conditions, the business grew market share reflecting the strength and resilience of the Highland Spring brand, which extended its position as the UK’s leading natural source water brand for a sixth successive year. * 

The business performed particularly well across a long hot summer in 2022, delivering growth by

collaborating closely with both customers and suppliers and acting with agility and flexibility throughout the supply chain to optimise customer service and product availability.  

In the last 12 months, bottled water was one of the few categories to deliver both volume and value growth, making it the seventh fastest growing category in the retail grocery sector in 2022**.

The Highland Spring brand performed ahead of the category, growing plain water volumes by 7.9%, strengthening its position as the number one plain still water brand with share of volume growing from 13.1% in 2021 to 13.9% in 2022. Overall, Highland Spring Group reported UK sales of over 500 million litres an increase of 2.9% vs 2021.  

In spite of the challenging trading environment and inflationary pressures, the business was able to modestly increase its underlying operating profit from £3.4m in the year ended December 2021 to £4.5m in the year ended December 2022 and from 3.6% to 4.0% of turnover. However, interest costs increased in the year by £1.5m due to higher interest rates.   

Building on the strength of the Highland Spring brand continues to be the main priority of the

business, with an increasing emphasis on expanding the business’s portfolio of products and

packaging formats in a sustainable way. 2022 saw the second full year of sales for the new Highland Spring flavoured cans and a successful expansion of the Hydration pack range into a new five litre size.  

Environmental sustainability is central to all business activities and in 2022 a landmark rail freight facility in Blackford, Perthshire was completed and commissioned. 40% of the water supplied from the Group’s main bottling plant in Blackford will now be transported by rail, removing 8,000 HGV movements from the roads, and saving 3,200 tonnes of CO2 every year.  

Highland Spring Group has committed to reaching net-zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions across the value chain by 2040 from a 2019 base year. At the end of 2022, for the 15th year running,

Highland Spring was named the leading ethical bottled water brand in the UK by The Good Shopping Guide.  

Commenting on the annual results, Simon Oldham Managing Director of Highland Spring Group said: “The experience of the last three years has demonstrated the strength and resilience of the Highland Spring business and brand. I am proud of our robust performance against a backdrop of challenging market conditions. Our focus on environmental sustainability, which has been at the heart of our business for over 40 years, continues at pace, as we implement and explore opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint which in turn, supports our customers on their own net zero journeys. 

“I remain confident in our long-term strategy of promoting the provenance of our brand, providing category leading expertise, focusing on environmental sustainability and contributing to overall value creation.”  



**The Grocer report December 2022 

*** Nielsen