NutraCea narrows Q2 loss

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Rice bran, Rice, Bran

Stabilized rice bran (SRB) supplier NutraCea has narrowed its loss in the second quarter of 2011 and increased revenues 29 percent, although sales of rice bran for food and feed applications did not grow as quickly as anticipated, the company said.

The Arizona-based company, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November last year, reported revenue of $9.6m for the quarter ended June 30, up 28.6 percent from $7.5m for the prior year period. Net loss attributable to shareholders improved 47.7 percent to $21,000 or $0.00 per basic and diluted share, based on 198 million shares outstanding, compared to a loss of $4.5 million in the second quarter of 2010.

CEO W. John Short said in a statement: “Sales of rice bran for human ingredient applications and animal feed have increased, though at a slower pace than Bio-Refining and not as fast as planned, and margins in the SRB segment continue to improve…We must continue to increase profitable revenues in our SRB business segment and reduce costs in all areas of the business in order to meet cash needs in the Corporate and SRB segments…I am encouraged by our continuing progress, especially considering the difficult economic environment and the challenging financial markets.”

Rice bran is the outer layer of the brown rice kernel that has often been considered a waste by-product of the milling process.

However, NutraCea has exploited rice bran and rice bran oil to develop a range of added value food grade ingredients. Apart from the insoluble fiber ingredients and oils that it currently manufactures from rice bran, the company has said that it also intends to produce rice lecithin by the end of 2011, which could provide a non-allergenic and non-GMO alternative to soy lecithin, and defatted rice bran for cutting fat content and improving the nutritional profile of coatings and batters.

The company divested its infant cereal business early in 2010 and Short said that the decision to exit what he termed a “low margin” market has paid off, due to lower operational costs and plant efficiencies.

The company also makes dietary supplements rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, phytosterols and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and gamma oryzanol.

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