President and CEO Robert Smith said in a recent earnings call that the sale of its Healthy Natural contract blending and packaging business to Rosewood Private Investments helped pay-off US based debt, while exiting investments in Brazil later in 2017 helped eliminate any further losses in the operation.
“As we focused our operation and fixed our balance sheet in 2017, we have set the stage to start growing the business,” he said.
The company is going to focus on its proprietary ingredient business. Growth in the year was attributed to sales from its Animal Nutrition products, which were up 9%. Meanwhile, food product sales fell 2%.
Focus on companion pet, lifestyle, equine and feed, and protein
“We spent the second half of 2017 strengthening the sales team with key additions to help us in companion pet and protein, augmenting our existing sales strength in areas like lifestyle, bakery, cereal and breading and equine and feed,” said Michael Goose, the company’s president of ingredient sales and marketing.
"We are in a strong position to pursue growth opportunities," said Brent Rystrom, COO and CFO. "Our sales team, led by Michael Goose, is making major inroads in identifying and selling to new customers as well as building volumes with existing customers.
“We see this leading to a progressive acceleration in revenue growth beginning in the 2018 second quarter. We plan to hold non-selling expenses flat in 2018, which should drive sharply improving profitability."
Shareholders value up
Year-end cash and cash equivalents totaled $6.2 million in 2017 versus $342,000 at the end of 2016. Due in part to the contract manufacturing sale and divestment from Brazil operations, debt was reduced to $16,000 at the end of 2017 from $9.0 million at the end of 2016.
Shareholders equity totaled $14.7 million at year-end 2017, up from $(632,000) a year earlier.