Charlie’s turns to first-half profit; shares gain

Article – Businesswire

Jan. 29 (BusinessWire) Charlie’s Group Ltd., the juicemaker, turned to a first-half profit on the sale of an Auckland property, cost cutting and growth in its Australian business. The shares jumped 5.6%.

Charlie’s turns to first-half profit on property sale, cost cutting; shares gain

Jan. 29 (BusinessWire) Charlie’s Group Ltd., the juicemaker, turned to a first-half profit on the sale of an Auckland property, cost cutting and growth in its Australian business. The shares jumped 5.6%.

Profit in the six months ended Dec. 31 was $1.7 million to $1.8 million, the company said in earnings guidance released today. The Auckland-based owner of the Charlie’s and Phoenix Organics brand drinks posted a net loss of NZ$661,000 in the first half of the previous year.

Chief executive Stefan Lepionka has been squeezing costs out of the business after announcing last June that the company had turned down ‘low-ball’ takeover offers from multi-national rivals and was considering options to raise capital and reduce debt as it returned to profitability in 2010. The first-half results include a gain of $1.2 million on the sale of its Henderson, Auckland property.

“We’ve been working pretty hard on turning the business around,” Lepionka told BusinessWire.” He announced $2.5 million of cost cuts at the company’s annual meeting.

Charlie’s is due to release its first-half results on Feb. 23. The shares rose 0.5 cent to 9 cents on the NZX today and have declined 22% in the past year.

Lepionka said the company has gained “excellent efficiencies” from its new plants in Australia and growth in that market “is going pretty well as well.”

(BusinessWire)

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