Swedish probiotics company BioGaia, which has made significant developments in its health and nutrition unit this year, reported net sales for 2002 reached SK43.1 million (€4.7m).
Sales, excluding the sold operations in fermentation, reached SK21.7 million, an increase of SK4.9 million on the preceding year. Fourth quarter sales, excluding Fermentation, were up 142 per cent compared with the same period of the previous year.
The fourth quarter saw both the launch of Reuteri tablets in Sweden and a nutritional beverage with the company's LifeTop Straw. These mark the new focus on health and nutrition,which includes both human and animal health, as does the divestment of the fermentation operations.
Operating losses of SK38.5 million improved slightly by SK 2.2 million compared with 2001. BioGaia explained the change in the operating result as a decrease in sales and gross profit. It added that the company had exchange gains of SK1.3 million during 2001 in contrast to exchange losses of SK0.3 million in 2002.
Net profit after tax was SK38.6 million, an increase of SK66.3 million compared with the previous year if the same accounting principles are applied. This is due to the fact that profit included a capital gain of SK74.3 million on the sale of BioGaia Fermentation after the write-down of shares and provisions for possible guarantee commitments.
Fourth quarter sales in the remaining operations amounted to SK 6.6 million, up SK 1.0 million on the preceding quarter and SK 3.9 million higher than in the same quarter of 2001.
The company said that the sale of BioGaia Fermentation will affect the anticipated results in coming years. According to the earlier plan for attaining profitability in 2003, BioGaia Fermentation was expected to achieve a substantial profit in that year and without this unit now, a loss is forecasted for 2003. The company expects current operations to show a profit in 2004 after substantial growth in the core business.