Red clover sales up at Novogen

- Last updated on GMT

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Strong demand for red clover-based supplements in Europe and
Australia is driving growth at isoflavones firm Novogen, which
reported a 6 per cent increase in sales of its consumer products
for the six months to end of December 2004.

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 per cent over the prior year to A$1.4 million (€0.84m), compared to 10 per cent 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 NutraIngredients.com 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.

It could also help counter weaker performance in the North American market, previously responsible for almost 50 per cent of the firm's turnover.

Novogen blamed lower US sales during 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. Sales fell 2 per cent over the period to A$2.2 million although the Canadian market reported growth of 11 per cent to about A$1.13 million.

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 per cent - 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 programme 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: Suppliers, Botanicals

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