Lifeway Foods Benefits From Q1 Acquisition



Lifeway Foods improved upon its record-setting first quarter sales performance with a 26% increase during the second quarter ended June 30, 2009. The probiotic kefir manufacturer made waves on February 6 with a $14 million acquisition of its largest competitor, Freshmade Dairy. Now operating with increased manufacturing and distribution capacity, Lifeway was able to bolster its Q2 earnings with more than $2.1 million in sales from Freshmade Dairy products. The company’s existing product lines grew 7% for the quarter as total sales climbed to $14.5 million, according to a July 16 company press release.

Lifeway has strung together two straight quarters of record sales, and its stock price has gone up by more than 42% since the beginning of the year. Shares were trading at $12.75 when markets closed on July 20. On July 15, investment research firm Zacks.com rated Lifeway stock as a “Powerful Buy” based on positive indicators in the categories of aggressive growth, growth & income, momentum and value. Lifeway’s balance sheet also benefited from $300,000 in revenues from Costco sales, a retailer the company did not sell to in the second quarter of 2008. Growth was not limited to the United States, however, as the Lifeway began international shipments of its Kefir Wellness bars to Canada at the end of the second quarter.

Lifeway Foods President and CEO Julie Smolyansky told Nutrition Business Journal in March that she was happy to be in the food business, which is traditionally more resistant to recessionary trends than some industries. “[Food] is still relatively affordable. People probably stopped eating out but they are eating at home and buying at the grocery store, which only increases the probability of people shopping [for our products],” Smolyansky said. “Food is somewhat recession-proof. I’d be scared if I was selling flat screen TVs.”

You can read the entire transcript of NBJ’s conversation with Smolyansky in the Healthy Kids Market Report: Breaking the Entry Barrier which also features a Lifeway Foods company profile and complete analysis of the $10.1 billion U.S. healthy kids’ market.

Related NBJ links:
Lifeway Foods Drinks Up Probiotic Kefir Competitor Fresh Made Dairy
Lifeway Foods Produces Probiotic Profits
Dean Foods Reports Strong 2008 Sales, Despite Q4 Softening

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