Six-month profit grows 75% for stevia extract supplier

by Jeff Gelski
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — PureCircle posted sales growth of 49% and growth in net profit after tax and minority of 75% for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2008. The company also said it expects momentum to build in new product launches with Rebaudioside A, its zero-calorie, natural sweetener extracted from the stevia plant, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December said it had no questions about the sweetener’s Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status in certain foods and beverages.

PureCircle recorded $2 million in net profit after tax and minority over the six-month period, which was up from $1.2 million in the previous year’s six-month period. Six-month sales of $21.6 million compared with $14.5 million in the previous year’s six-month period. The 2007 six-month sales figure included $5 million of crude stevia sales now discontinued. PureCircle thus had like-for-like sales growth of 127% for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Rebaudioside A volumes for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2008, were up 125% to 95 tonnes.

"Events are moving on at a pace in the wider market," said Paul Selway-Swift, chairman of PureCircle, when the company reported results March 4. "With widespread regulatory clearances and many major product launches, it is clear that this is going to be a large global industry.

"PureCircle is the undisputed market leader. We are demonstrably scaling our business rapidly, and we have robust plans in place to keep doing so."

PureCircle has offices in Florham Park, Geneva and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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