Phoenix-based Zila is to double production capacity of its vitamin C line to meet growing demand for the product.
Zila has already expanded production facilities to raise output by 30 per cent, it said, and the second expansion is planned to double its original Ester-C production capacity by February 2004.
The company is also finalizing development of a high efficacy vitamin E product, called Ester-E, planned for launch in fiscal year 2004, according to Zila CEO Dr Doug Burkett.
Ron Fugate, vice president and general manager of Zila's Nutraceuticals division, said the second expansion will cost around $550,000 and will provide the firm with production for around $60 million in Ester-C sales at current prices. Further costs for the company in coming months include a 30 per cent increase in media spending, said to be responsible for the growth in sales, beginning August 1, 2003, and new advertising for Ester-C.
However Zila Nutraceuticals claims to be on track to achieve a 50 per cent increase in net revenues for 2003, following a 27 per cent growth in sales in 2002 versus the previous year. The company will continue to up spending on growth initiatives in a bid to achieve overall positive cash flow for fiscal 2004, said Burkett.
It has also signed with maker of the Nature Made brand vitamins Pharmavite to add Zila's Ester-C to its product line, and gained commitments from other retailers to feature Ester-C in high profile off-shelf displays during the winter season.