Sales quadruple for stevia supplier

by Jeff Gelski
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VANCOUVER, B.C. — GLG Life Tech Corp. posted revenue of C$41.9 million ($41.5 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, which compared with C$9.9 million in 2008. Income in 2009 was C$0.8 million, which compared with a loss of C$10.6 million in 2008.

Revenue in 2010 may be in the range of C$70 million to C$80 million, according to the company. The U.S. market and emerging markets such as China and India look to be growth opportunities for the company’s stevia-based sweetener products, and GLG Life Tech Corp. also is hopeful the European Union will approve the use of stevia extracts as food ingredients in 2010.

“GLG believes that this market could adopt stevia at a faster rate than others, given European consumers’ overall healthier dietary habits,” the Vancouver-based company said.

Revenues for 2009 were derived entirely from the sale of high-grade stevia extract products. In 2009 GLG Life Tech increased its stevia leaf processing capacity to 41,000 tonnes from 5,000 tonnes.

Production capacity of the sweetener Rebpure (RA 97) increased to 1,500 tonnes in 2009 from 500 tonnes in 2008. Rebaudioside A is known as the sweetest part of the stevia leaf. Rebpure (RA 97) is at least 97% rebaudioside A. Other capacity increases included high grade stevia (RA 80), to 3,000 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes, and intermediate powder (RA 60), to 4,000 tonnes from 500 tonnes.

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