September 12, 2008
Weight Watchers Brings Healthy Weight Management Solutions to China
Weight Watchers Danone (China) Weight Loss Consultation Co., Ltd., a company owned by a joint venture between Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW), the leading global provider of weight management services, and Groupe DANONE (Euronext Paris: BN), one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world, successfully launched its first ever weight management services pilot center in the heart of Shanghai, China today. Weight Watchers has helped millions of people around the world lose weight through sensible and sustainable food plans, exercise, behavior modification and group support. Weight Watchers' scientifically-based weight management approach helps its members understand the importance of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
David Kirchhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Weight Watchers International and Jacques Vincent, Vice President of the Board of Groupe DANONE, were joined by special guests including government representatives from the Huangpu District of Shanghai, US and French Consulate officials, invited guests and VIPs. A traditional lion dance and ribbon cutting formalized the opening, bringing Weight Watchers weight management approach firmly to the China market.
"We could not be more excited to officially bring our weight management approach into the Chinese marketplace within the same year we signed our joint venture agreement with Groupe DANONE. These pilot centers will be an invaluable source of learning as we build a world class weight management solution in China, providing a customized weight management program tailored to the Chinese lifestyle and eating habits," said Mr. Kirchhoff.
Mr Kirchhoff continued, "With Groupe Danone we found a partner that not only shares our core values of bringing health and nutrition to consumers world-wide through the promotion of healthy lifestyles, but also contributed an outstanding team of talented managers who have been able to quickly adapt and start our business model in China."
Explained Matthew Mouw, CEO, Weight Watchers Danone (China) Weight Loss Consultation Co., Ltd., "Weight Watchers educates people that successful weight loss is about changing behavior - making small changes that can make a big difference. While weight-loss goals may be different in China than in other countries, for those whose weight exceeds healthy levels, studies have shown that even a 5 -10 percent weight loss sustained over six months or longer may reduce health risks associated with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol."
Weight Watchers is currently open in Hong Yi Plaza and Hong Kong New World Tower. Phased center openings will continue to be implemented throughout China on a national basis.
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 50,000 weekly meetings where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
About Groupe DANONE
Groupe DANONE is a Fortune 500 company and one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world. Its mission is to bring health through tasty, nutritious and affordable food and beverage products to as many people as possible. Groupe DANONE with 200 plants and 88,000 employees has a presence in all five continents and over 120 countries. In 2006, Groupe DANONE recorded 14 billion euros sales. In 2007, Groupe DANONE acquired Numico, and reinforced its leading positions in healthy food in four business lines: fresh dairy products (n degree 1 worldwide), waters (n degree 2 in the packaged water market), baby food (n degree 2 worldwide) and medical nutrition.
This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning Weight Watchers International, Inc. within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements because actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied. The reports filed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. pursuant to United States securities laws contain discussions of these risks and uncertainties. Weight Watchers International, Inc. assumes no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are advised to review Weight Watchers International, Inc.'s. filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (which are available from the SEC's EDGAR database at www.sec.gov, at various SEC reference facilities in the United States and via the Weight Watchers International, Inc.'s website at www.weightwatchersinternational.com).
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Groupe DANONE. Although Groupe DANONE believes its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. For a detailed description of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Groupe DANONE or its management, please see the sections "Risk Factors" in Groupe DANONE's Annual Report (which is available on www.danone.com).