Nutrition 21 brand sales increase, ingredients steady

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chromium picolinate, Insulin, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus

Nutrition 21 has reported significant operating losses in its
second quarter after bolstering marketing expenses to support its
shift into finished products – an effort it said has paid off in
increased sales.

Until last year, the New York state-based chromium picolinate specialist was focused on research and development. The company has built its science portfolio to support branded ingredient Chromax's use in supplements. However, the company recently opted for a change in direction and invested heavily in promoting Chromax as a finished supplement product through food, drug and mass retail outlets. Selling, general and administrative expenses for the company's branded products division - of which Nutrition 21 reported marketing accounted for a large part - were $7.9m for the quarter. Operating losses amounted to $2.7m. But sales of the finished chromium picolinate supplement are going well, accounting for $7.3m of the total $9.4m revenues for the quarter. Ongoing supply of ingredients for formulators remained around the same $2m mark as in the prior year. The shift into condition-specific branded products based on science was predicated on a desire to for the company to improve its margins. "By the end of our fiscal year on June 30, we expect to have five branded product lines in national distribution that address pre-diabetes, diabetes, cardiovascular health, arthritis/joint health, and HIV,"​ said Paul Intlekofer, Nutrition 21 CEO. "For the quarter ending March 30, 2007, we expect to report a continuing increase in revenues and an improvement in our bottom line."​ 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 also recently acquired finished omega-3 supplement supplier Iceland Health, and plans to leverage that company's direct response expertise for its chromium supplements. "The significant increase in our revenues reflects early results from our Iceland Health acquisition and from our program to distribute Chromax chromium picolinate and other branded products to mass retailers,"​ said Intlekofer.

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