New initiatives drive growth at NutraCea

by Eric Schroeder
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PHOENIX — New product launches combined with aggressive expansion efforts helped drive improved quarterly results at NutraCea. Net income in the second quarter ended June 30 was $2,002,000, equal to 1c per share on the common stock, up sharply from $399,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2006. Net sales totaled $12,996,000, up 212% from $4,166,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

For the six months ended June 30, net income was $1,755,000 on sales of $14,993,000, up from $166,000 and $7,948,000, respectively, in the first half of fiscal 2006.

"NutraCea has delivered a solid quarter of sales growth and new initiatives," said Bradley Edson, chief executive officer. "During the quarter several new products were launched with our stabilized rice bran as a primary ingredient and we expect more product launches from major food companies going forward and to experience progress in all channels of distribution. We have expanded our production capacity and we intend to continue to do so both domestically and internationally."

In the past year, NutraCea has increased its capacity from less than 10,000 tons annually to more than 40,000. Mr. Edson said the company expects to reach 80,000 tons during the first quarter of 2008.

"The estimated global demand still far exceeds our current production capacity and we will endeavor to meet that demand as quickly as possible," he said.

Leo Gingras, chief operating officer, said the company’s aggressive expansion efforts are taking shape, with recent completion of the company’s Mermentau, La., and Arbuckle, Calif., plants, as well as the completed expansion at Dillon, Mont., and the acquisition of assets in Freeport, Texas. The company also expects to complete its Lake Charles, La., facility by the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

"We are particularly pleased that our international expansion plans have taken a large step forward with the formation of our joint venture in Southeast Asia, a region that produces more than 10 times as much rice bran as the U.S. and E.U combined," Mr. Gingras said. "We are also moving ahead on our first European facility and look forward to servicing our customers in the E.U. with local production in 2008."

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