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Jamba’s 1Q loss widens, but sales improve

Company inks deal for expansion into Canada

Jamba Inc. reported a wider net loss for the first quarter and a drop in revenue, but said its same-store sales momentum continued to build.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based Jamba Juice parent recorded a net loss of $7.3 million, or 11 cents per share, for the April 19-ended first quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of $7.1 million, or 13 cents per share. The latest quarter reflected lower costs of sales, labor and occupancy, but higher impairment charges.

Revenue declined 17.7 percent to $66.2 million from $80.4 million, which Jamba attributed to fewer corporate stores as part of its now-complete refranchising initiative. The company sold 42 restaurants to franchisees during the quarter.

Same-store sales at corporate restaurants rose 2.2 percent in the first quarter, marking the company’s second consecutive period of positive trends after several quarters of declines. The latest increase reflected a 3.8-percent increase in check average and a 1.6-percent dip in traffic, which the company blamed on weather.

EARLIER: Jamba’s sales turn positive for first time since 2007

At franchised Jamba Juice locations, same-store sales rose 4.1 percent in the first quarter, the company said.

Jamba ended the quarter with 742 stores, including 307 corporate locations and 435 franchised branches.

Also on Monday, Jamba said it had signed an agreement with Canada Juice Corp. to open Jamba Juice locations in Canada for the first time. The agreement opens up a third international market for the brands, which previously announced moves into South Korea and the Philippines.

In Canada, the master developer will be Canada Juice Corp., a division of International Franchise Inc., which also owns and franchises the Yogen Fruz, Swenson’s Ice Cream, Bresler’s Ice Cream and Ice Cream Churn brands. The company operates or franchises close to 1,300 locations, with Yogen Fruz representing about 900 of those locations.

Aaron Serruya, co-founder of the Yogen Fruz brand with his brother Simon, is one of the principals behind Canada Juice Corp. He said the company plans to have two or three locations open in Canada before the end of the year, with as many as 80 units planned.

The Serruya family — Aaron’s father and another brother Jack — made a $15.45 million investment in Jamba Inc. in 2009 and Michael Serruya, another of the brothers, serves on Jamba’s board.

Lisa Jennings contributed to this report.

Contact Molly Gise at [email protected].

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