Red clover sales down at Novogen

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red clover, License

Novogen is blaming lower US sales of its red clover-based
supplements in the first six months of 2004 on consumer confusion
due to the conflicting publicity regarding the safety and efficacy
of HRT and natural menopause products.

The US was previously responsible for almost 50 per cent of the firm's turnover, but sales fell 2 percent over the period to A$2.2 million - although the Canadian market reported growth of 11 percent to about A$1.13 million.

Globally, the Australian company earned A$7.3 million (€4.36m) from sales of its red clover isoflavone products, including the Promensil brand for menopause symptom relief and the Trinovin brand for prostate health.

Europe, still the company's smallest region, is proving to be the fastest-growing, showing growth of 18 percent over the prior year to A$1.4 million (€0.84m), compared to 10 percent growth in the Australia/New Zealand markets.

"The sales increase in the Australasian and European markets reflects the success of our targeted promotional efforts,"​ said the company in a statement.

Wyobo Kortmann, manager for the Netherlands, told earlier this year that red clover is the third best-selling supplement in the Netherlands' €7 million menopause category after black cohosh and homeopathic remedies.

Novogen​ is planning to extend its presence beyond the Netherlands, UK and Belgium during 2005 to increase sales generated in this region.

The company said it reduced selling and promotion costs compared with the first half of 2003 by a third, opting for more targeted promotional efforts, in a bid to conserve cash. But savings were partially offset by higher sales and production costs of the supplement range - up 25 percent - and increased R&D for its pharmaceutical development line. Net losses remained above A$5 million.

Novogen is aiming to develop drugs derived from its phenolic technology platform and currently has an anti-cancer drug in phase 2 clinical trials. It is planning to continue self-funding its drug development program from its cash reserve, in addition to revenue from supplement sales and royalties from its soy isoflavone patents.

It gained around A$1.1 million in royalties during the half-year under a soy patent license agreement with Solae, now taken over by ADM under a recent deal between the two American firms.

Related topics: Women's health, Botanicals

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