CHESTERFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Reliv International, Inc. (RELV) , an international manufacturer and network marketer of nutritional supplements and other food technology products, today announced its results of operations for the three months ending March 31, 2004.
Reliv's worldwide net sales grew 26 percent during the first quarter of 2004, to total a record-setting $23.48 million -- up from $18.67 million in the same period last year. Net income available to common shareholders advanced at a significantly higher rate, climbing 67 percent to $1.63 million, or $0.11 per share basic ($0.10 per share diluted) in the first quarter. This compares to earnings of $978,000, or $0.07 per share basic ($0.06 per share diluted) in the first quarter of 2003. The 2003 earnings per share have been adjusted for the five-for-four stock split declared in September 2003.
The company's results were driven by an outstanding performance in the United States, Reliv's largest market -- where first quarter net sales grew 30 percent compared to the prior-year period. This was the eighth consecutive quarter in which the company's U.S. sales grew at least 20 percent over the same quarter in the previous year. Several international markets contributed significant sales increases in the first quarter of 2004, as well -- including Canada (up 45 percent), the United Kingdom (up 43 percent) and Australia/New Zealand (up 39 percent).
Robert L. Montgomery, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reliv, said, "We're off to a great start in 2004, continuing the strong growth momentum we saw throughout last year. It's both gratifying and exciting to see this company prosper by focusing on the fundamentals of our business. Clearly, there's a lot of consumer demand for the balanced nutrition that Reliv products offer. When you combine those proven products with the exceptional business opportunity we provide to our distributors, the result is outstanding growth."
Mr. Montgomery noted that Reliv continues to see a strong performance in its efforts to recruit new distributors for its marketing network. During the first quarter of 2004, sponsorships grew 20 percent in the U.S., and 14 percent worldwide, compared to the prior-year period, he said.
Reliv International, Inc., based in suburban St. Louis, manufactures and distributes several lines of food products, including nutritional and fiber supplements, diet management products, functional foods, sports drink mixes and a line of premium skin care products. Its proprietary product lines include an extensive line of soy-based products. Reliv International's common stock trades on The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the symbol RELV.
NOTE: Any statement released by Reliv International, Inc. that is forward looking is made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Editors and investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that may affect the Company's business prospect and performance. This includes economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors described in the Company's filings with the SEC on forms 10-K and 10-Q.