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Probi sales jump 17% in 2011 as supplements market shines

By Shane Starling , 25-Jan-2012
Last updated on 25-Jan-2012 at 17:33 GMT2012-01-25T17:33:40Z

Probi sales jump 17% in 2011 as supplements market shines

Swedish probiotics supplier Probi has turned in healthy annual figures with sales up 17% to SEK94.4m (€10.67m) in 2011 from SEK80.4 (€9.90m) in 2010.

That income delivered slightly higher, after-tax profits of €1.6m compared to €1.55m in 2010, but the 2010 figure was boosted by a one-off payment of €1.13m from new licensee partner and investor at the time – Danone.

With that number removed, sales increased 34% year-on-year.

The company noted sales in food supplements were the star performer with revenues jumping 77% even as older deals dating back to 2008 with the likes of Next Foods in the US had not quite met expectations.

“2011 was a new record year for Probi,” said CEO Michael Oredsson. “Growth in dietary supplements reached 77% which is clear evidence that our strategy in the business area is working well. A large part of the increase came from the Swedish market and we have considerable potential to grow internationally in both functional foods and dietary supplements in the next few years.”

Functional foods

Functional foods sales amounted to €5.59m, a 10% jump if the 2010 Danone payment is discounted.

In the functional food division, Probi noted revenues were up 5% from the Danone ProViva deal as Danone re-launched the products in Finland.

It highlighted its exclusive global licensing deal with an unnamed food company that sees the two companies working jointly on immunity products with Probi strains and technology, ProbiDefendum.

While the Next foods partnership was developing “at a slower pace than expected at the launch in 2008”, Next delivered a royalty of €3278,000 in Q1 2011.

Supplements

Probi flagged its new US deal for exclusive distribution with PharmaVite that propels its Lp299v capsule into the popular Nature’s Made brand along with on-pack branding for its ProbiDigestis brand.

Those products will be on-shelf early this year.

South American contracts with Merck were terminated after Probi’s partner there, and Institut Rosell, ended its own partnerships with Merck which had a strategic change and decided against launching products in South America.

Merck remains onboard in just France, Belgium and Chile.

The company noted clinical trials underway or in commissioning would provide data for imminent article 13.5 submissions in immunity and gastro health under the European Union nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

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