Jones Soda has posted a rise in sales and profits for the third quarter. The company said yesterday (26 October) that net sales for the three months to the end of September rose by 14.3% year-on-year to US$8.9m. Net income, meanwhile, more than doubled to US$846,286, or US$0.04 per share, from US$404,443, or US$0.02 in the corresponding period a year earlier.

For the first nine months of this year, sales were up by 17.6% to US24.76m, although net income was running behind last year at US$702,781m or US$0.03 per share, against US$1.245m, or US$0.06 per share, in the corresponding period a year earlier.

In a statement, Peter van Stolk, Jones' president and CEO, said: "We are extremely pleased with our third quarter results, which exceeded both internal and external expectations. Our strong performance was driven by solid revenue growth coupled with significant operating expense leverage, which allowed us to translate a 14% top-line gain into a 100% increase in earnings per share."

"Throughout the summer we continued to make meaningful strides to broaden our distribution and expand our national presence. This included penetrating new markets in our core direct store distribution (DSD) business, improving our direct to retail (DTR) relationships, and improving our overall execution in order to better capitalise on our licensing agreement with Target. We also effectively controlled costs during the quarter, and this is reflected in our strong bottom line performance.

"We are particularly excited about the upcoming holiday selling season and our prospects for the remainder of fiscal 2005. The initial response to our special Halloween soda offering has been very positive and we expect another big season for our Jones Soda Holiday Pack. It is this dedication to fun, creativity and innovation that continues to separate Jones Soda from its peers and foster the emotional connection we have established with our consumers.

"Again, we are very pleased with our quarterly results and believe that the strategic investments we implemented earlier this year in sales and marketing have us well positioned for the future. We continue to focus on building our unique status in the marketplace and we remain committed to delivering long-term profitable growth and increased value to our shareholders."