Lifeway Foods, the Illinois-based producer of kefir and other probiotic foods, has continued to lift sales and profits in the third quarter of the year.
Revenues for the three-month period ended September 30, 2003 were $3.8 million, up nearly 24 per cent. For the first nine months of the year, sales were $10.9 million, a 22 per cent increase on the previous year.
Lifeway attributed the improvement to a major new marketing programme for its products, which help boost sales not only of the company's existing kefir brands but also the new LaFruta line of drinkable yogurts, marketed primarily to the Hispanic community.
Net income increased by 33 per cent to $706,846 for the three-month period and by 80 per cent for the year-to-date period to $2.4 million. The latter increase was due mainly to a one-off gain from the sale of property.
"We are extremely pleased with our third quarter financial results. Our sales growth continues to be robust, and even though milk prices rose to three year highs in the third quarter, we managed to improve our operating margins year over year. We also believe we will maintain these positive results for the fourth quarter. These factors along with our strong sales growth really showed in our bottom line results," said Julie Smolyansky, president and CEO of Lifeway Foods.
Lifeway makes 12 flavors of kefir and exports its products to Canada. The company also participates in the organic and soy markets with Lifeway Organic, Organic Kefir and Kefir Cheese, and America's first soy kefir called SoyTreat.