US-based soft drinks group Jones Soda has reported an improvement in net losses for 2009 and said it will continue to seek a buyer for the company.

Jones today (1 April) reported a 31% improvement in net losses to US$10.5m for the 12 months of 2009.

For the fourth quarter, net losses widened to $4.5m, from $3.4m in the same period of 2008.

Jones earlier this month agreed to be merged into Reed’s for about $9.8m in cash and stock, but has since terminated exclusive talks between the two firms in order to speak with an unnamed "third party".

Joth Ricci, Jones president and CEO, said: “We have strived over the last 12 months to streamline our business by reducing costs and focusing on our core glass bottle business.”

“However, adverse economic conditions have continued to negatively impact our liquidity and financial condition and caused us to explore strategic alternatives in an effort to enhance shareholder value.

“While the board continues to conduct this process, we will continue to focus on executing our strategy, on delivering improved operating results in our core business – Jones Soda glass bottles, including our new Zilch zero calorie offering – and on regaining traction in our retail marketplace,” he added.

Sales for the year decreased 28% to $26m, while for the fourth quarter sales dropped 30% to $4.3m.

“The challenges and uncertainties we face in our business, including our liquidity position, our inability to implement further meaningful cost containment measures beyond those we have already undertaken and the extremely difficult environment in which to obtain additional equity or debt financing, continue to raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,” Ricci said.

Strategic transactions, he added, may include, without limitation, mergers or other business combinations, public or private offerings of debt or equity financings, joint ventures with one or more strategic partners and other strategic alternatives”.

However, Ricci said there will be no assurance that Jones will enter into a definitive transaction, or that any transaction will be consummated.