NuCO2 Inc, the largest supplier in the US of bulk CO2 systems and services for carbonating fountain beverages, has reported positive operating results for the fiscal first quarter ended 30th September 2007, in line with the Company’s fiscal 2008 strategic growth plan.
Total revenues for the quarter amounted to $34.9m, compared with $32.4m in the corresponding year-ago period and an increase of 8%, while gross profit increased to $18.3m from $17.6m in the prior year’s first quarter.
Operating cash flow for the quarter amounted to $13.0m, up from $8.8m in the corresponding year-ago period, an increase of 47%, reflecting gains in income and working capital, particularly reductions in accounts receivable. Free cash flow, defined as cash flow from operations less capital expenditures, amounted to $8.1m for the quarter, compared to $0.5m in the year ago period.
Michael E. DeDomenico, chairman and CEO, commented, “The quarter’s results were solidly on track with our plan and reflect gains in operational productivity, asset management and providing the highest quality customer service, while strengthening operating and free cash flow.”
“During the quarter, we continued to achieve targeted gains in adding to our customer roster while refining and strengthening our customer base in line with our strategic focus on higher quality accounts,” added DeDomenico.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), which the company regards as useful information with regards to liquidity, excluding non-cash stock option expense, totaled $11.7m in the quarter, compared with $11.3m a year ago.
Capital expenditures for the quarter amounted to $4.8m, compared to $8.3m the previous, a reduction of 41.6%. The reduction is in line with the company’s programme to improve asset utilisation and reduce tank purchases, in part by accelerated tank recoveries and tank refurbishing.
A total of 274,195 common shares were repurchased by the company at a cost of $7.1m during the quarter as part of the company’s previously announced $50m share repurchase plan. To date, a total of 1,180,304 common shares have been repurchased at a cost of approximately $29.6m.