CLA, sterols boost Cognis sales

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Conjugated linoleic acid

German health ingredients firm Cognis said today that sales of its
branded CLA Tonalin and sterols have helped it counter the downturn
in vitamin E.

Sales during the first nine months of the year at its Nutrition and Health unit were up 5.8 per cent over the prior same period at 229 million.

"This is largely due to the growth in branded ingredients specifically Tonalin conjugated linoleic acid, and in the pharma and health and sterols businesses,"​ said the company in a statement.

"Sales improvement was partially offset by lower sales in the vitamin E business,"​ it added.

Cognis, like other suppliers of vitamin E, has been hit hard by negative media reports, particularly in the US, following a series of studies at the end of last year that claimed to show adverse effects of vitamin E consumption.

Compounding the resulting fall in demand for vitamin E supplements, new laws that require the labelling of GM ingredients in Europe raised problems for the natural-source vitamin.

The firm now claims to have resolved its sourcing issues and is offering a range of non-GM natural vitamin E oils and powders.

At the same time, a heavy branding campaign for Tonalin CLA appears to be paying off, although the private equity-owned group did not release any figures about sales of this product.

Sterols are also seeing strong demand across the US and Europe and Cognis is seeking to capitalise on this with a new facility opened during the summer.

Results across the group were hit by a sharp fall in sales at the Process Chemicals unit due to divestments. Overall, external sales came to €2,384 million during the nine months, a 2.7 per cent increase on the first three quarters of 2004.

Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before net financial result, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptional items) was flat at €284 million, and is likely to stay that way for the rest of the year.

Cognis CEO Antonio Trius said: "For 2005 as a whole we continue to expect moderate sales growth andfull-year adjusted EBITDA to remain in-line with 2004."

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