Primo Water, a North Carolina-based provider of multi-gallon purified bottled water, self-serve filtered drinking water and water dispensers, has reported 8.6% rise in gross sales to $26.2m for the third quarter ended 30 September 2012 compared to $24.1m in the prior year period.

Operating income for the water segment in the latest period increased 21.8% to $4.5m from $3.7m in the same quarter a year ago.

Gross margin for the 2012 third quarter increased to 24% from 22.3% in the third quarter of 2011.

During the third quarter, the company has also signed an agreement with Cuisinart to market Flavorstation appliances and provide carbon dioxide cylinders for all Cuisinart and Flavorstation sparkling beverage appliances.

Primo Water president and CEO Billy Prim said the company is happy with the continued positive trends in revenue, gross margin and cash flow from operations, locations and households that use their water.

"We entered into an agreement with Cuisinart, a premier appliance company, under which Cuisinart will market our Flavorstation appliances. Under this arrangement Primo will receive a revenue stream from Cuisinart’s sale of flavors and Primo’s provision of CO2 services," Prim added.

"This alliance leverages the strengths of Cuisinart and Primo to provide a complete soda appliance solution to retailers.

"Additionally, we are now able to focus on growing our core water and dispenser businesses, which we believe have significant future growth opportunities as demonstrated by increased consumer purchases of our dispensers in the third quarter of 2012."