Welsh bottled-water company Princes Gate saw sales slump in 2017, prior to its acquisition by consumer giant Nestlé.

The French food group’s water arm, Nestlé Water, which already owned the Buxton and Pure Life brands, purchased the supplier for an undisclosed amount in June 2018.

Princes Gate had seen rapid growth in recent years, featuring in The Grocer’s Fast 50 last year, with sales up almost 40% in the year to November 2016, after it boosted manufactured capabilities at its site.

But for the year ending 30 November 2017, the thriving producer saw sales dip 6%, from £14.7m to £13.8m.

Despite the downturn in sales, the company “consolidated” in 2017 by scaling back its “high-investment” strategy to bring it back into the black. Profits jumped to £752k from a £579k loss in 2016.

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The still and sparkling water producer was the latest in a string of acquisitions by Nestle, following deals to buy direct-to-consumer petcare company Tails.com, and Starbucks consumer and foodservice product arm.

After being bought by the consumer giant, company founders David Jones and Glyn Jones, said the move would “supercharge” the Pembrokshire supplier.

Princes Gate Spring Water Ltd. was founded in 1991 by the two brothers in Princes Gate, Prembrokeshire. It supplies spring water to retail and OOH channels as well as under other brands.