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RiceBran Technologies revenues up 14%

RiceBran Technologies revenues up 14%
Significant U.S. segment sales growth drove 2014 revenues increase.

RiceBran Technologies (NASDAQ: RIBT and RIBTW), a global leader in the production and marketing of value added products derived from rice bran, announced today the Company's financial results for the full year of 2014 ended Dec. 31, 2014.

Financial highlights
Full year 2014 consolidated revenues total $40.1 million, a 14.4 percent increase compared to consolidated revenues of $35.1 million in 2013.

Full year 2014 USA segment revenue increased by 92.1 percent to $23.1 million with gross margins improving by 5.7 percentage points to 30.2 percent compared to full year 2013, largely due to a progressive shift in business mix toward human food ingredients, functional food ingredients and packaged functional foods.

W. John Short, CEO and president, commented: "For full year 2014 we delivered improved results on a number of important fronts despite challenges in both our USA and Brazil segments. In our USA segment, we delivered a year over year 92 percent increase in revenue, improved gross margins and a 137 percent increase in gross margin dollars despite supply chain challenges related to the ongoing drought in California.  In the second half of 2014 we completed two key expansion projects at our facilities in Irving, Texas, and Dillon, Mont., to double capacity in both locations.  This provides us with available production capacity to increase sales in the 2015 and coming years without significant additional capital expenditures.  Additionally, we conducted extensive product development work at our Healthy Natural (H&N) subsidiary in the second half of the year resulting in the launch of dozens of new SKUs which we expect to support significant sales growth in 2015 and beyond." 

Short continued:  "In Brazil, we experienced several production disruptions throughout the course of 2014.  For the majority of the first quarter of 2014, our facility was idled in order to complete the capital expansion project that increased our production capacity by 50 percent. In addition, during the Brazilian winter months, production was reduced as a result of shortages in raw rice bran availability. And in August of 2014, a structural equipment failure at Irgovel negatively impacted production levels through the end of the year.  However, with final repairs to restore the lost capacity having been completed early in January of 2015, and with favorable forecasts for the rice crop now being harvested, we expect to run at or above our post-expansion production target of 9,000 metric tons per month going forward."

"Overall, the demand picture for both our USA and Brazil segments continues to strengthen. We have made investments in technology to strengthen our regulatory compliance to further differentiate RBT from our competitors and we are confident that 2015 will be the inflection point where we will begin to deliver sustained financial growth and profitability for years to come."

Operating results
Consolidated revenues for the full year of 2014 were $40.1 million, a 14.4 percent increase compared to 2013 consolidated revenues of$35.1 million. The increase was led by a 92.1 percent increase in revenues at the Company's USA segment primarily from the acquisition of H&N. 

Revenue from the Brazil segment in 2014 totaled $17.0 million, a decline of 26.1 percent as compared to 2013. This was largely due to production interruptions throughout the year caused by upgrades and repairs at Irgovel, shortages in bran, and the $1.7 million negative impact associated with the decline of the Brazilian foreign currency exchange rate.  With repairs now complete in the first quarter of 2015, the Company expects significant improvement in Brazil becoming progressively more evident throughout 2015.

Consolidated gross profit for the 2014 full year increased by 13.3 percent to $4.5 million compared to gross profit of $3.9 million in 2013. The increase in gross profit was mainly attributable to increased sales from our USA segment coupled with gross profit improving by 5.7 percentage points to 30.2 percent.  This was largely offset by our Brazil segment where we recorded negative gross profit of ($2.5) million due to lost production and inefficiencies associated with upgrades and repairs to the plant at Irgovel. Consolidated operating expenses increased to $17.2 million in 2014 compared to $13.9 million in 2013. The increase in operating expenses is attributable to a $2.0 million increase in SG&A expenses and a $1.6 million increase in depreciation and amortization, partially offset by a $0.3 million reduction in other expenses.

Net loss
For the 2014 full year the Company recorded a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $23.0 million inclusive of $13.3 million in fees and expenses related to financing, interest and note conversions, $6.5 million in depreciation and amortization and $1.2 million due to the change in the fair value of derivative warrant and conversion liabilities.  This compares to a loss attributable to common stockholders of $15.0 million inclusive of $7.4 million in fees and expenses related to financing, interest and extinguishment of debt, $4.0 million in depreciation and amortization and $1.0 million due to the change in the fair value of derivative warrant and conversion liabilities. Our operations resulted in a loss of ($3.96) per share on 5.8 million weighted average shares outstanding compared to a loss of ($12.95) per share on 1.2 million weighted average shares outstanding in 2013.

Additional information can be found in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 31, 2015.

Dale Belt, CFO commented, "Our full year results reflect the substantial change we have undergone in 2014 to position RBT for growth in the coming years.  We have made significant investments in capacity expansion while shifting our USA segment business mix toward natural and functional foods. This has enabled us to deliver overall top line revenue growth as well as substantial margin improvement in our USA segment in 2014.  While our Brazil segment was hampered by production interruptions, the Irgovel plant is now fully operational and we expect a significant improvement in performance throughout the current year.  We continue to work diligently to control costs as we improve revenues in both of our operating segments. Our focus is to progressively ramp revenue in 2015 and solidify our presence in the food and beverage industry as a quality provider of ingredients that are gluten free, non-GMO, minimally processed, and offer turnkey product solutions for the healthy, natural and functional foods product categories."


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