Just Water lifts profit, slows pace of customer loss
BUSINESSDESK: Water cooler and supplies group Just Water has lifted profit even as sales fall and says 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 says. Sales fell 7.9% to $29.9 million.
In its largest market of New Zealand the regular customer base fell 6.3% to 37,591, slowing from a 10.9% loss in the previous year, while the decline in regular Australian customers slowed just 0.6% to 10,203 from 8.1% a year earlier.
In response to the lack of customer growth, Just Water is rolling out sales through new channels, selling its filter online, and through kitchen designers and plumbers. Starting this summer it will sell them through stores.
"Overall trading conditions continue to remain challenging in both countries," it says. "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, it will maintain debt reduction as a principal objective, while adding a second objective: to increase its base of customers."
The company has hitched its brand to the obesity debate and says in its release 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% to $2.60and are up 17% this year.