Net profit, revenues jump for stevia extract producer

by Jeff Gelski
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — Net profit climbed to $11.2 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $2.1 million in the previous fiscal year, for PureCircle, a leading producer of natural high-intensity sweeteners, including Reb A extracted from the stevia plant. Revenues increased to $60 million from $34 million.

During the fiscal year Reb A received regulatory clearances from the United States, Switzerland, Russia and Australia. In September PureCircle said the French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment published authorization for Reb A 97% purity and above for use in food and beverage products sold in France.

"Major beverage and tabletop companies have been swift to launch products, particularly in the important U.S.A. market," said Paul Selway-Swift, chairman of PureCircle, when the company reported its results Sept. 23. "All product launches have been well-received by the consumer and are outperforming their respective categories. These are still early days, but the successes to date confirm that a natural high-intensity sweetener market has undoubtedly been established."

Company executives are confident natural high-intensity sweeteners will become a major new global industry, Mr. Swift said.

"In the short term volume take-up depends on the speed of our customers getting new products to market," he said. "These launches will inevitably be tougher to program against the current economic backdrop. Sales growth may therefore be volatile.

"We are hard at work supporting our customers on the development of larger volume products that will trigger use of Reb A in mass market products."

PureCircle increased its stevia extract capacity to 4,000 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes during the fiscal year. The company now grows stevia plants in seven countries on three continents. The company expanded from one sales force in Kuala Lumpur to selling from eight countries over five continents. A U.S. office is based in Oak Brook. The company’s Reb A customer base grew to 25 clients from one client during the fiscal year, said Magomet Malsagov, chief executive officer.

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