Glacier Water Services has posted a dip in operating profit, despite a rise in sales in its third quarter.

The US bottled water machine provider said yesterday (5 November) that operating profit for the three months to the end of September slid to US$2.8m from $2.9m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales, however, were up by 3.7% year-on-year to $26.1m.

Net profit followed operating income, down to $606,000 from $631,000.

The company blamed the fall on higher operating costs "to support new location growth and higher fuel and labour costs".

For the first nine months of this year, operating profit was down to $4.1m from $4.6m, with sales for the year so far up by 3.6% at $69.6m. Net loss increased to $2.6m, compared to a loss of $2.5m in the same period in 2005.

"On a year-to-date basis, comparisons were also impacted by record wet weather in the south-west and record heat during the same period last year," said Brian McInerney, Glacier's CEO.

Earlier this year, Glacier's CFO, David Walters, retired from the company, to be replaced by Steve Stringer.