Stevia success gives GLG Life Tech 323% revenue boost

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Glg life tech, Stevia

GLG Life Tech has reported a 323 percent increase in revenue during 2009 as food and drink manufacturers continue to develop and launch new products containing its stevia-derived sweeteners.

Revenue for the full fiscal year to December 31, 2009 increased to $41.9m from $9.9m in 2008, when the company experienced a loss in net income of $10.6m. In 2009, GLG’s net income increased to $0.8m.

The company, which grows, markets and distributes stevia extracts, is also involved in research and development work with the plant-derived sweetener and, along with rival stevia company PureCircle, supplies Cargill with Reb A stevia extracts for its Truvia-brand sweetener.

GLG Life Tech said its increased revenue was primarily due to extra capacity being added at its Mingguang and Dongtai facilities during the first quarter, with leaf processing jumping from 5,000 metric tonnes a year to 41,000 metric tonnes.

The US market for stevia-derived sweeteners, which are natural and calorie-free, opened up in December 2008 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued GRAS (generally recognized as safe) no objection letters for the stevia extract Reb A at 95 percent purity or above for use in food and drink.

After the first full fiscal year of commercial Reb A use in foods and beverages in the United States, GLG Life Tech remains optimistic about further growth ahead, as stevia-sweetened product launches continue in 2010. Products sweetened with stevia launched this year include Kraft’s Crystal Light Pure Fitness and Breyers’ YoCrunch 100-calorie yogurt. GLG added that Cargill claims it is currently working on more than 100 stevia-related projects with customers.

“The Company believes that market demand for its stevia products continues to grow as food and beverage makers further develop and launch new products containing the all natural sweetener,”​ GLG Life Tech said in its financial report.

Also this week, GLG announced that it was severing ties with Weider Global Nutrition, with which it had formed the joint business Sweet Naturals in September 2008, ahead of FDA GRAS. The business break-up followed a legal row over the conditions of the partnership.

Both companies have now agreed to drop legal action against each other without payment and continue to market their stevia-derived sweeteners and related products separately.

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