CANADA: Sparkling Spring Water Group Announces Record First Half Revenue and EBITDA
Sparkling Spring Water Group Limited announced record first half revenues of $33.1 million up 8.6% from the first half of 1999. EBITDA before acquisition charges was $9.4 million up 11.6% from the 1999 period. The Company recorded a net loss of approximately $1.2 million in the first half of 2000 down $0.4 million from the 1999 loss of $1.6 million before extraordinary gains in the 1999 first half.
The Company's improved operating results in 2000 were driven by an increase in its home and office water business that achieved a 9.1% increase in water revenues from the 1999 period on a unit volume increase of 10.1%. The EBITDA margin in the first half of 2000 increased to 28.3% from 27.6% in the 1999 first half as the Company's gross margin increased by 1.1%. EBITDA gains from acquisitions of approximately $0.2 million offset reductions due to exchange rate differentials of approximately $0.1 million.
"I am pleased with the first half results, especially our improvement in organic growth as net rental additions in the second quarter of nearly 4,400 were more than double the 1999 level of 1,600," said Stewart E. Allen, President. Mr. Allen added, "Our EBITDA also showed solid improvement despite a lower exchange rate for the Pound Sterling and significant increases in fuel costs and higher sales expenses due to increased customer additions."
Interest expense for the first half of 2000 decreased by $0.4 million to $4.7 million from $5.1 million in the 1999 period. Excluding the impact of changes in the value of the Company's currency swap and non-cash amortization of financing expenses, interest expense declined by $0.3 million. This decline was the result of a lower average interest rate on higher debt levels versus the year ago period. Total debt, net of cash, increased by $7.5 million in the first half to approximately $114.2 million at June 30. Acquisitions accounted for $4.0 million of this increase and the balance was used to fund capital expenditures and working capital. Capital expenditures for the first half were $4.1 million down from $5.9 million in the 1999 period.
Sparkling Spring is a leading producer and distributor of bottled water to the home and office segment. The Company does business as "Nature Springs" in England, "Water at Work" in Scotland, "Sparkling Springs" in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, "Cool Spring," "Rocky Mountain" and "Sparta" in Alberta Canada, "Canadian Springs" in British Columbia Canada, and in the United States "Cullyspring" and "Crystal Springs" in Washington and "Crystal Springs" in Oregon.
The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements. The results could be affected by, among other things, general business conditions, the impact of competition, weather, the seasonality of the Company's business, the ability to obtain financing, interruption in the availability of water from the Company's water sources, government regulations, labor relations and currency fluctuations. Investors also should consider other risks and uncertainties described in further detail in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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