LaCroix Maker Says Profits Hit by ‘Injustice’—Not Management Mistakes

March 8, 2019, 2:40 PM UTC

When National Beverage, the maker of popular sparkling water brand LaCroix, on Thursday released its results for the quarter ending Jan. 26, 2019, investors were not happy. Net sales were down year-over-year, and net income plummeted by 39.6%, although the nine-month figures showed some improvement.

But that didn’t satisfy the markets. National Beverage shares were down 16% on Friday morning.

Most press releases after such a disaster would be carefully contrite while trying to present some rationale for the problem. Not in this case. The release—with the headline “WE JUST LOVE OUR LACROIX” CONSUMERS CHANT—offered an explanation attributed to 82-year-old CEO and chairman Nick Caporella: “We are truly sorry for these results stated above. Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons – much of this was the result of injustice!”

This style of language isn’t unusual for the company. In 2012, one of its releases stated, “Have you ever observed someone on a busy street trying to parallel park?! While it’s raining? Today, the license plate on that car would read — A M E R I C A !”

It’s not just his language that has caught attention. Former employees last year complained that Caporella indulged in unwanted touching during a plane flight, although the CEO’s lawyer said the statements were false.