29/03/2006 - 13:47

Water company makes Refreshing ASX debut

29/03/2006 - 13:47

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Western Australian-based water company Refresh Group Ltd today made a promising debut on the Australian Stock Exchange, closing at a 75 per cent premium to its subscription price.

Water company makes Refreshing ASX debut

Western Australian-based water company Refresh Group Ltd today made a promising debut on the Australian Stock Exchange, closing at a 75 per cent premium to its subscription price.

The company raised $2.5 million through the issue of 15 million shares at 20 cents each and its shares started trading on the ASX at a premium of five cents higher, at 25 cents. They closed today at 35 cents.

Refresh aims to take a different approach to the growing bottled water market.

Most companies in the market use spring water, which is promoted on the basis of the quality of the source of the water.

Refresh doesn't take its water from the ground. It uses a patented United States' system to produce steam-distilled water.

The source of the water is not a critical issue in the Refresh production process. It takes rain and also tap water and passes it through its production process, bringing the water to the boil and then bottling the steam.

Group managing director Henry Heng told WA Business News that this resulted in the most pure drinking water available in Australia.

"Because the source is not critical to us, we are able to deliver a product that is consistent all the time with no variations in taste," he said.

Mr Heng said that a recognition of the purity of the water came in the fact that it was the only water in Australia to carry the stamp of Kidney Health Australia.

He also said that production costs were similar to those of spring water companies, but that the steam distilling process did incur extra electricity costs.

Refresh has growth plans that include Kalgoorlie and Brisbane.

"We will look to set up a plant in Kalgoorlie by mid-year," he said.

"There is a growing population in the region because of the resources boom and a regional facility will significantly reduce the freight costs associated with servicing this growing market.

"Also there is a shortage of ground water in the area."

He said a steam distillation facility in Brisbane would give Refresh greater access to the larger eastern states markets.

In addition to water products, Refresh provides contract bottling services to a number of organisations, including the WA Water Corporation, and distributes the Durastill and Precision brands of distillation systems.

Refresh water is sold through Coles in Western Australia and its Moores brands of bottled water is sold in the major supermarkets in NSW and Queensland.

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