Cyanotech’s sales rise 11%; founder retires

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Maxiphoto
©Getty Images - Maxiphoto

Related tags Astaxanthin Algae Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae spirulina

Algae cultivation pioneer Cyanotech reported an 11% increase in sales while also announcing the retirement of the company’s founder.

In its recent year end earnings statement, Cyanotech reported $36 million in revenue in fiscal 2022, compared with $32.3 million for the previous year.  However, the fourth quarter of the fiscal year saw a significant drop off in year-over-year results, with $8.1 million in net sales recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to $9.4 million a year before.  That represented a 13.9% decline.

Cyanotech has been cultivating spirulina and Haematococcus pluvialis​ (the algae species that is a source of the carotenoid astaxanthin) at its open pond facility on the Kona Coast of Hawaii for decades.  A number of years ago Cyanotech began pivoting away from supplying bulk ingredients, especially astaxanthin, and began concentrating on its finished products business under the Nutrex Hawaii, BioAstin and Spirulina Pacifica brand names.

Founder steps down

In addition, Gerald R. Cysewski, PhD, announced that after 39 years with the company he is finally taking a back seat.  While he will keep the Chief Scientific Officer title, he is surrendering the CEO chair, which has been filled by Matt Custer, who is also the company’s president.

Cysewski said the company managed to pay off $1.7 in debt in during the fiscal year as well as make $1 million worth of capital improvements.

“After 39 years with Cyanotech, I have stepped down from my position at Cyanotech as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors ('Board') effective June 16, 2022, to have more personal time in my latter years. My time at Cyanotech has been both challenging and very rewarding. I will assume the position of CEO Emeritus and remain as Chief Scientific Officer. I will be available for consultation on business strategy on an as needed basis. I want to sincerely thank shareholders and employees for their support throughout the years,”​ Cysewski said.

Cyanotech’s net sales have hovered in the region of $30 million to $36 million for a number of years. The company’s stock price has declined in the face of that vacillation, ranging from a high of $5.23 a share in early 2018 to a low of $1.99 in March 2020.  The stock is currently trading at $3.05 a share.

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