Monaghan water producer eyes €1m sales from China

Monaghan water producer eyes €1m sales from China

Irish-owned bottled water producer Celtic Pure is targeting significant expansion in Asia in the short-term, with a view to generating €1m in annual revenues from China by 2020, writes Geoff Percival.

The Co Monaghan-based company — owned and run since 2000 by husband and wife team Padraig and Pauline McEneaney — has invested €12m on expanding the company since 2015.

That has seen it upgrade its offices and warehouse facilities and significantly increase bottling capacity.

Celtic Pure produced around 118m bottles at its Corcreagh headquarters last year. That total is expected to rise to between 150m and 160m this year and hit 250m bottles by 2020.

While Ireland remains the company’s core market, it is slowly growing overseas and has firm intentions to increase its international reach.

Outside of Ireland, Celtic Pure sells into the UK and has a small presence — via one customer — in the US.

It is planning to introduce value added-water products to its range — which will include vitamins and flavourings —later this year.

Monaghan water producer eyes €1m sales from China

On the back of that, the company will look to enter mainland European markets — the Netherlands and Germany, in particular — and Scandinavia later this year.

Celtic Pure already has a presence in China, via one distribution agreement. That distributor is due to take delivery of 24 container loads of product this year, meaning the Co Monaghan company will generate revenues of around €225,000 from China in 2018.

Those container load orders are set to rise to 100 next year and to 250 in 2020, by which time China should be a €1m revenue market for the Irish company.

The McEneaneys are also looking to further grow sales in Ireland despite already selling into the foodservice sector and supplying most of the major supermarket, convenience store and discounter multiples and forecourt operators across the country.

Mr McEneaney said he is concerned and worried about the impact Brexit may have on the business, given how much raw materials Celtic Pure buys from Britain and how much finished product it exports there.

However, he said it remains too early to know what the full consequences may be and the company is still in the unknown regarding the issue.

Celtic Pure saw total revenues rise by 30% last year and is tentatively targeting sales growth of at least 20%-25% this year and next.

Mr McEneaney said the prospect of people drinking less carbonated drinks, on the back of the impending sugar tax, could deliver an additional 5% to 7% boost in sales.

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