Provexis focuses shareholder attention on new products as losses grow

Related tags Functional food Nutrition

UK functional food company Provexis says a growing pipeline of
functional food products will change its fortunes, as it reports
growing losses from its Altu healthy cereal bar.

The company said on Friday that the Altu bar - its only revenue source to date - had generated sales of £299,667 for 2005, significantly below expectations. It blamed limited investment and a highly competitive market.

Meanwhile losses increased to £1.8 million from £855,000 the previous year.

But Provexis says that although the future of Altu remains unclear, with a possibility that the food bar could be used as a vehichle to deliver other functional ingredients, a new product backed by strong science is readying for launch.

Expected to reach the UK market by the year-end, the Sirco heart health product contains a tomato-based ingredient that has been shown to boost the circulation and improve heart health, one of the biggest functional food categories.

The firm is also looking at an omega-3 heart health technology with a view to entering into a joint venture agreement with the New Zealand-based Riddet Centre to commercialise it.

"We are also in negotiation with both the Institute of Food Research and Seminis Inc to develop beverages with an active ingredient which is shown to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer,"​ said the firm in its results announcement.

Chairman Dawson Buck said management has focused on cash preservation given the slow trading of the Altu food bar and the resource requirements of developing new products.

"Cash balances of £1,105,869 at the year end were in line with expectations,"​ he said.

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