Jones Soda Co. has posted a huge loss in a "disappointing" first quarter of 2008, despite a slight lift in quarterly sales.

The US-based company, which markets and distributes soft drink brands across North America, said yesterday (1 May) that the net profit for Q1 2007 of US$58,312 turned into a loss of $3.8m for the first three months of 2008.

The company saw its operating expenses in the quarter rise to $5.9m from $4.1m, with increased promotion and advertising, salaries, legal and audit fees taking effect in the period.

"We are disappointed in our bottom line results," said company CEO, Stephen Jones. "That said, we believe the investments we are making in our business are helping drive increased demand for our products, as evidenced by the growth in case sales of finished goods shipped by us and National Beverage."

Stephen Jones added that 2008 would be a "transitional" year as the company looks to capitalise on asset potential while seeking consistent sales and earnings growth.

"As we approach the key summer selling season, we believe that we are in a better position to drive higher sales volumes and capture key market share for our brand and portfolio of products," Stephen Jones concluded.

Earlier this year, the company said that its net profit for 2006 of US$4.6m became "unanticipated losses" in 2007, totalling $11.6m. Sales for the year came in at $39.8m compared to $39.0m in 2006.