~UK's Largest Retailer Launches Margarine Spread, Yogurt and Yogurt Drink Containing Reducol(tm)~
Vancouver, Canada Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSX:FMI and NASDAQ:FMTI) today announced UK's largest retailer, Tesco Stores Ltd (Tesco), will start selling a range of products including a margarine spread, yogurt, and yogurt drink incorporating Forbes Medi-Tech's cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol(tm) sometime next week. The products will be marketed under the Tesco private label brand.
"Tesco's size and distribution power will be a tremendous asset in launching Reducol(tm) across the UK," said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech. "The market opportunity is growing in all three dairy categories for products enriched with phytosterol ingredients. Additionally, the superior taste and competitive pricing of the products containing Reducol(tm) give the Tesco private label brand a distinct market advantage over similar products currently on the shelf."
The estimated annual retail value for the UK Market's combined phytosterol-based spreads, yogurts and yogurt drinks is GBP170 million (approx. US$300 million)*, based on annual sales reports from the industry. Going forward, retail sales of phytosterol-based spreads, yogurts and yogurt drinks are expected to show double digit annual growth rates in the UK based on similar industry reports.
Anticipated revenue from the launch of Reducol(tm)-based products will be included in Forbes' 2006 revenue guidance, currently scheduled to be released during the first quarter of 2006.
Reducol(tm) is a unique ingredient containing plant sterols and stanols, commonly known as phytosterols, or "Sterols". The combination of a prudent diet and consumption of products containing the recommended amount of Reducol(tm) may help consumers lower their cholesterol by up to 24%. Additional information on Reducol(tm) can be found at www.reducol.com
About Tesco Stores Ltd
Tesco is the UK's largest retailer. Tesco has reached this position through its four-part strategy for growth:
1. Tesco focuses on a strong core UK business by offering customers excellent value, choice and convenience
2. Tesco aims to be as strong in non-food as it is in food
3. Tesco follows the customer into new areas of retailing services such as financial services (Tesco Personal Finance), internet shopping
(Tesco.com) and telephony (Tesco telecom).
4. Tesco wants to be an international retailer with a long term strategy for growth.
The Tesco Group reported GBP$37.1 billion in sales for FY2005. It has 2,318 stores and employs 326,000 people in the 12 countries in which it operates. In Europe, outside the UK, it operates in Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey where it has 261 stores and 55,000 employees. In Asia it has 179 stores and 34,000 employees across its businesses in Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan. It is the market leader in 6 of the countries it trades in. Wherever it operates it has one core purpose "Creating value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty" and two values "No-one tries harder for customers"; "Treat people how we like to be treated" that directs how it operates.
About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a life sciences company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Our vision is to develop and market products along a treatment continuum that cardiovascular disease consumers, healthcare professionals and specialized cardiovascular disease research and healthcare institutions will identify, recommend and seek. Our business strategy is to develop and commercialize proprietary compounds to address the unmet needs of patients within the cardiovascular disease market.
# # #
NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this News Release. Forbes Medi-Tech has relied solely on Tesco for the information about Tesco provided in this News Release and the Company disclaims any liability with respect to such information. Forbes does not review or control the contents of any linked or referenced website, such links and references do not constitute an endorsement by Forbes of those or any other websites and Forbes is not responsible for the information contained on such websites. This News Release contains forward-looking statements regarding products containing Reducol(tm) , the UK market for certain foods, and the Company's 2006 revenue guidance, which statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will be", "is growing", "estimated", "expected", "scheduled", "strategy", "vision", "to develop", "next week" or comparable terminology referring to future events or results. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including the risk of early termination of the Company's arrangements with Tesco; the Company's reliance on Tesco and Fayrefield Foods for performance; uncertainty regarding market acceptance and demand for products containing Reducol(tm); product development risks; intellectual property risks; manufacturing risks and the Company's dependency on its joint venture manufacturing partner, Chusei (U.S.A.) Inc.; raw material supply risk; product liability and insurance risks; uncertainty as to when products will start selling; the effect of competition; the need for regulatory approvals, which may be withdrawn or not be obtained in a timely manner or at all; changes in business strategy or development plans; exchange rate fluctuations; and the Company's need for future funding; any of which could cause actual results to vary materially from current results or the Company's anticipated future results. See the Company's reports filed with the Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory authorities from time to time for cautionary statements identifying important factors with respect to such forward-looking statements, including certain risks and uncertainties, that could cause actual results to differ materially from results referred to in forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this News Release.