Following are the Chairman''s and CEO''s addresses from the Annual Meeting of
Just Water International Ltd held 11.00am Thursday 25th October 2012:
It''s appropriate that I take this opportunity to make some preliminary
The Annual Report has been made available to you as shareholders and I don''t
intend to repeat what is contained in that document.
I will make some comments on the overall performance, while the CEO, Tony
Falkenstein will address the current situation and future.
As signalled at last year''s AGM, we did not pay any dividends in the 2012
year, as we continued to focus on reducing company debt. The company has been
able to pay down a greater amount of debt than anticipated which puts the
company in good standing for the future.
Overall, this year''s results are an improvement on last year - generally the
business performance has continued to make improvements and efficiencies in
terms of people, processes and profitability. Tony talks about the company
being back to a state of "normality" and we can now concentrate our energy on
growing the business, and looking for new opportunities.
Your Board continues to be mindful of the present worldwide recessionary
times, and is intent on continuing to reduce debt levels significantly.
Your Board still sees as a primary function its desire to ensure a positive
return to shareholders.
I want to thank my fellow directors, each of whom has made an excellent
contribution to Just Water''s governance. Each of them brings real, valuable
and complementary skills to the business.
As I have previously observed, ours is still a small board, and deliberately
so; and I am grateful to each member for their respective contributions.
Your board had spent considerable time and effort ensuring that the company''s
governance structures meet the highest standards, and in these challenging
times we continue to seek a mix of stability and strength partnered with new
I am also pleased that our auditors have given us a clean bill of health and
also that we have complied with all bank covenants.
We do take our governance responsibilities very seriously; and the process of
continuous governance improvement will continue.
Finally, I want to thank the entire Just Water team across both Australia and
New Zealand, for their efforts over the year.
Prior to going to the formal business, I''d like to invite our Chief
Executive, Tony Falkenstein, to address the meeting. Tony is, of course, the
leader of the Just Water team and is the man who started the Company over 22
years ago; it is now my pleasure to invite him to address the meeting.
As Paul stated I regard our position as one of "normality" as opposed to the
crises of our computer system failures which we advised in previous years. We
have what we call a "dream team" of management and staff, and this was
reflected in the national staff survey which showed Just Water as one of the
top 10 companies to work for in New Zealand. This is a credit to Jay
Harraway, our General Manager in New Zealand.
We continue to look at new opportunities both in our current business and
other related and complementary businesses, with low risk attached. We have
tried lots of different concepts, but none that we think can change our
business dramatically....yet! However, in saying that we do have time on our
side, as we continue to return cash, and reduce debt at a rapid rate. I am
sure we will find one that gives us some dramatic growth, and a return to
dividend payments to shareholders.
One opportunity that we took last year was the acquisition of a plant
business in Wellington for $900,000. This produced an EBIT of $253,000 or a
return of 28% pre tax, but although that sounds good by itself, we have not
grown the business at this time, and it is growth which we are seeking.
Opportunities that we are taking in the current year are in the filter
business and Home Delivery business. The office cooler market is nearing its
peak, and we believe that the filter business and the Home Delivery business
are both in the early stage of growth.
Beatrice Faumuina, the former world discus champion is now the champion for
Just Water, and appears on our website and in all Just Water media as the
face of Just Water.
In terms of the filter business, this is very much an online business,
although we are looking at a retail avenue with the filter. In terms of
online presence, we remain in the number one or two spot if you search online
for a water filter. We are about to undertake a radio campaign in Auckland
only, featuring Beatrice, over the next 10 weeks.
In terms of Home Delivery, we have passively rebranded this business from
Aqua Cool Home Delivery to Just Water Home Delivery, and we are running an
infomercial on ''Good Morning'' on TV1 over the next few weeks:
As a Company, we promote healthy living. Our mission is "enhancing lives", a
mission that could never be upheld by Coke or KFC! We think, as a Corporate
citizen, we should speak out on issues affecting obesity, as we are now the
third fattest nation in the world, and just the effect of Type 2 Diabetes has
been estimated to cost the country $2 billion by 2016, let alone all the
people dying prematurely as a result of obesity. We will play the Sunday
programme that aired on TV1 in June at the conclusion of today''s meeting, but
suffice to say we are decrying the effects of the over consumption of
In Australia, the new General Manager, Peter Molloy, has shown outstanding
leadership, in restructuring the business, and undertaking programmes to
propel the Company forward. In the first quarter we are showing far greater
increases in new customers over last year and we have undertaken processes to
continue this during the rest of the year. Paul Carrol, who started as a
sales representative for Just Water in Wellington 13 years ago, is the driver
of this growth as National Sales Manager in Australia. Paul is here today.
Peter and his team are moving forward well, and have created a sense of
urgency in the business.
In terms of the overall business, we are satisfied with the First Quarter
trading results in an environment that remains extremely competitive as
competitors use pricing rather than service offering as a means to gain
I just want to finish off by saying that in both countries we are in a good
position to take opportunities that come our way, and are working to ensure
that we achieve growth while reducing our debt levels. This objective will
result in decent returns to shareholders in the future - are there any
We will now move on to the formal business and resolutions which were advised
in the Notice of Meeting
End CA:00228875 For:JWI Type:ADDRESS Time:2012-10-25 15:10:03