Nestlé Waters UK will take over distribution of its bottled water brands from contractor Coca- Cola Enterprises from 2004.

MD Scott Sloan said the shake-up signalled Nestlé Waters’ determination to accelerate its growth in the UK.

The water portfolio will be linked to systems supporting Nescafé and Kit Kat, providing retail customers with a more convenient service, he said.

The new operating model will create a dedicated Nestlé Waters direct sales force for its brand portfolio, which includes Vittel, Buxton, Perrier, Ashbourne and San Pellegrino.

Nestlé UK will also manage all order processing, product distribution and invoicing from the first quarter 2004.

Sloan said: “We took control for direct selling to the grocery trade in 2002, delivering substantial business success for our customers and category growth.

“We are looking forward to extending this success.”

Nestlé Waters said orders can be placed through the normal routes and distributor until 2004.