Nutrition 21 slides by Q1 with optimism

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Insulin Insulin resistance Diabetes mellitus

Nutrition 21 has reported a spike in sales in its first quarter
2007 results, as it says its shift from ingredients to finished
products is paying off.

The New York-based chromium picolinate specialist was, until this year, focused on R&D and building its science portfolio to support Chromax's use in supplements. However, the company recently opted for a change in direction and invested heavily in promoting Chromax.

Nutrition 21 is armed with the ambition of making Chromax as closely associated with managing insulin levels as calcium is with bone health. In the United States alone calcium supplements are worth $1bn at retail.

Total revenues for the first quarter were $4.7mn, compared to $3.6mn for the same period last year. Net loss for the quarter and year through September 30 was $4.1mn, or ($0.08) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.1mn, or ($0.03) per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

In September, the company reported its year-end sales were flat at the same time as the news came that Chromax was on shelves at Wal-mart, Rite Aid, Albertsons, CVS/pharmacy, Kroger and Harmon. However, because of the timing, sales were predicted to begin making their impact for Q1 2007.

In August the FDA approved a qualified health claim for chromium picolinate on the grounds of one study that indicates it may reduce the risk of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

Nutrition 21 recently acquired finished omega-3 supplement supplier Iceland Health, and plans to leverage that company's direct response expertise for its chromium supplements - as well as to take Iceland's range into retail.

The company also already has plans for its Diachrome supplement, which combines Chromium with biotin for diabetes management, to be on more retail shelves.

Paul Intelkofer, CEO of the company, said in a statement:

"We are very pleased with the execution of our business plan. Of our $4.7mn in revenues for this quarter, 64 percent reflects 1) the beginning of our realization of Chromax and Diachrome sales now that we are on the shelf nationally at major retailers, and 2) Iceland Health's contribution since its acquisition on August 26, 2006. Our loss for the first quarter reflects $4.2mn in our planned marketing and advertising to support sales efforts for all of our products. During the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2006, more than 90 percent of our $2.5mn in revenues consisted of ingredient sales, and marketing and advertising expenses were $1.5mn."

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