US soft drinks group Jones Soda Co. has reported falling profits for 2005 despite a buoyant fourth quarter.

The Seattle-based company yesterday (10 March) posted a 4% fall in net earnings to US$1.3m. The drop came despite a 22% increase in revenues to US$33.5m.

President and CEO Peter van Stolk said that the sales growth came during the second half of 2005.

"During 2005, we successfully executed our strategic plan by taking advantage of early investments in our sales and marketing platform in order to deliver substantial revenue and earnings growth in the back half of the year and better position the company for the future," he said.

Van Stolk said he was "extremely pleased" with the company's performance in the last quarter of the year with revenues up 37%.

He added: "Our positive momentum continues to give us a heightened degree of confidence about our business as we begin the new fiscal year."

The company's soft drinks stable includes the brands Jones Soda, Jones Energy, Jones Organics and Whoopass.