Monday, August 20, 2001

Hawaiian Natural
Water’s loss narrows
to $284,000

Sales drop after the Aloha Water
deal falls through while the pending
merger with Amcon is delayed

By Russ Lynch

Hawaiian Natural Water Co. had a second-quarter loss of $284,000, or 4 cents a share, an improvement from the loss of $1.5 million reported for the equivalent period of last year.

The 2000 period had included a special charge of more than $900,000 related to a possible loss in the value of the company.

The former owners of a company purchased by Hawaiian Natural had filed a foreclosure action to get their company back.

The acquired company, a home and office water-delivery business called Aloha Water Co., was later passed back to the original owners.

One of the reasons for the loss this year was a significant drop in Hawaiian Natural's sales because it no longer had the revenue from Aloha Water to add to its own.

According to the company's second-quarter report filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, net sales in the three months through June 30 were $779,000, down 34 percent from $1.17 million in the 2000 quarter.

The company said more than 70 percent of the decrease was because Aloha Water sales were included last year but not this year.

Part of the year-over-year drop came from slower sales of the company's "East Meets West Xen" brand drinks containing herbal extracts.

The company also had a drop in its bottled water sales.

However, the company decreased its selling, marketing and general and administrative expenses by 45 percent to $398,714 in the latest quarter from $725,109 in the year-earlier period.

Pearl City-based Hawaiian Natural, whose main product is fresh natural water from springs near the Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island, announced in November an agreement to sell the company to Omaha, Neb.-based Amcon Distribution Co.

The parties have said recently they expect the deal, which has been delayed several times, to conclude in the final quarter of this year.

Hawaiian Natural's operations already depend heavily on financing from Amcon. Hawaiian Natural owes Amcon a total of $1.25 million in three separate loans.

Amcon is a wholesale distributor of consumer products, including beverages, candy, tobacco, groceries, food service, frozen and chilled foods, and health and beauty care products. It also owns 14 health and natural product retail stores.

Hawaiian Natural's thinly traded stock, which closed unchanged today at 20 cents on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board, is up 28.1 percent this year but is down 47.4 percent over the past 52 weeks.

Amcon, which rose 10 cents today to $5 on the American Stock Exchange, is up 40.4 percent this year but down 6.9 percent over the past 52 weeks.

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