Just Water lifts profit while slowing pace of customer loss
Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Just Water, the water cooler and supplies group, lifted profit even as sales fell and said it has slowed the pace of decline in is customer base.
Net profit rose to $1.76 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $818,000 a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales fell 7.9 percent to $29.9 million.
In its largest market of New Zealand the regular customer base fell 6.3 percent to 37,591, slowing from a 10.9 percent loss in the previous year, while the decline in regular Australian customers slowed to just 0.6 percent to 10,203, from an 8.1 percent a year earlier.
In response to the lack of customer growth, Just Water is rolling out sales through new channels, selling its Just Water filter online, and through kitchen designers and plumbers. Starting this summer it will sell the filters through stores.
“Overall trading conditions continue to remain challenging in both countries,” Just Water said. “The company has focused on debt reduction as its prime objective over the past two years, which has seen a reduction of $6.6 million in its debt exposure in that time.”
“In the current year, the company will maintain debt reduction as a principal objective, while adding a second objective - to increase its base of customers,” it said.
The company has hitched its brand to the obesity debate and says in its release that it has “continued to publicise the issue of obesity, and has successfully created debate in the community through appearances of the CEO on television, radio and the press.”
The shares rose about 2 percent to $2.60and are up 17 percent this year.