Taiwan sales boost helps LifeVantage return to close to record earnings

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Nico El Nino
Getty Images / Nico El Nino

Related tags Multi-level marketing

Multi-level marketer LifeVantage Corporation has seen sales in Asia rise with the addition of Taiwan as a new market.

According to CEO Darren Jensen, Taiwan was the third largest market for the company in September and that just a month or two after launching in that country. Taiwan fits into the company’s broader ‘Greater China’ strategy, which has seen cross-border e-commerce sales rise in mainland China, with that market now approaching its year anniversary.LifeVantage did find it necessary to boost commissions from 48% to 50% in order to jumpstart the recruitment of new distributors.

LifeVantage, which is based in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, UT, was founded on a supplement called ProTandim, which is a blend of extracts of milk thistle, bacopa, ashwagandha, green tea and turmeric. The company also markets other supplements such as energy powders, an omega-3 offering and a probiotic supplement and has added a natural hair care line.

In the company’s first quarter of 2019 it recorded revenue of $55.6 million, representing a 13.2% increase year-over-year and a 2.9% sequential increase when compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Revenue in the Americas increased 13.6% to $41.1 million and revenue in Asia Pacific and Europe increased 12.1% to $14.5 million, all year-over-year.

Earnings recovering

LifeVantage seems now to have fully recovered from multiple earnings shocks the company absorbed starting about two years ago. In response to a formal Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower complaint filed by a former employee, the company put new accounting procedures into place to more accurately reflect sales to distributors and to end users. The company also reformed procedures to take into account the new regulatory landscape in the US following the agreement between category leader Herbalife and the US Federal Trade Commission. That settlement, which included a $200 million fine for Herbalife, created fallout throughout the industry. 

In LifeVantage’s case, revenue dropped by as much as 20% year over year as the company struggled to put the new compensation plan into place and retain distributors at the same time. 

The worst seems to be over. For its fourth quarter of 2018, LifeVantage reported revenue of $54.0 million, an increase of 6.7% as compared to $50.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Revenue in the Americas for the fourth quarter increased 4.7% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and revenue in the Asia/Pacific & Europe region increased 13.3% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. 

For the full year, the company brought in $203.2 million, an increase of 1.9% over 2017. Earnings per diluted share were 41 cents, compared to 11 cents the year previously. 

The company still has a ways to go to return to record revenue levels. The record quarterly revenue came in the third quarter of 2016 when the company brought in $56.2 million.

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