Celsius rapidly expands fitness drink sales aided by capital from Hong Kong

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Celsius rapidly expands fitness drink sales aided by capital from Hong Kong
Sports nutrition brand Celsius Holdings, backed by a major investment from a Hong Kong businessman, has recorded strong growth for its nascent line of ‘fitness drinks.’v

The company’s flagship product, a beverage called Celsius, is sold as a dietary supplement and contains a blend of taurine, guarana extract, green tea extract, glucuronolactone and ginger extract.  A recent line extension called Celsius Heat also includes 300 mg of caffeine and 2 grams of L-citrulline, an amino acid that is part of the body’s nitric oxide pathway.  Boosting nitric oxide stimulates vasodilation and blood flow and has been linked to athletic performance increases. Domestically the beverages are sold at Vitamin Shoppe, 24-Hour Fitness, and other outlets.

The company, based in Boca Raton, FL, recorded $6 million in revenue in its first quarter revenue, a 63% increase from the same period a year previously. Revenue of $6.0 million, up 63.1% compared to $3.7 million in the year ago quarter.  Among other revenue highlights were:

  • Domestic revenue increased 81% to a record $4.8 million, up from $2.7 million in the year ago quarter
  • International revenue increased 18% to $1.2 million, up from $1.0 million in the year ago quarter
  • Gross profit of $2.4 million, inclusive of a one-time charge of $235,000 for the write-down of old packaging and fees associated with label changes, compared to $1.5 million in the year ago quarter
  • Net loss to common stockholders of $(2.0) million compared to $(1.3) million in the year ago quarter.

Big influx of capital from Hong Kong

Celsius Holdings appears to be well capitalized, with an influx of $16 million in 2015​ from a group led by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-Shing, who according to Forbes​ magazine is the richest person in Asia.  Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons also participated in that investment. In November of last year the company entered into a partnership with Li’s A.S. Watson group, which is the largest international health and beauty retail group in Asia. The brand is initially being distributed overseas in Hong Kong and Macau.  A group led by Li reportedly put another $15 million into the company​ in March of this year.

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Sports nutrition event

For more on the sports nutrition landscape, tune in to NutraIngredients-USA’s online Sports Nutrition event, scheduled for Thursday, May 18.  For more information and to register, click here​.

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