Cyanotech lays off 13 employees
Cyanotech Corp., a Kona-based producer of nutritional products, said yesterday it has laid off 13 employees, or about 20 percent of its work force.
The cuts were made last Friday to help balance costs with declining sales, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission released after the market closed. The layoffs affected production and administration employees.
As of its March 31 quarterly report, 48 of Cyanotech's 64 full-time employees worked in harvesting and production, with the remainder in sales, administration and support. Nearly 10 years ago, poor sales of nutrition supplement Spirulina and food-coloring agent astaxanthin forced the company to fire 23 workers.
The company said last month that founder Gerald Cysewski will be stepping down as chairman, president and chief executive as part of a shift toward its human nutrition products. He did not return a call to his office for comment yesterday.
Cysewski will serve as chief scientific officer, where he will develop new microalgae products, once a new president and CEO is found. He founded the company nearly 25 years ago.
Last month, Cyanotech said second-quarter revenue was dragged down by sales of NatuRose, an astaxanthin used in animal feeds, which decreased by 35 percent from a year earlier. Sales of Spirulina, a nutrient-rich microalgae, fell 2 percent to $1.4 million for the second quarter. Sales of natural astaxanthin products jumped 18 percent to $1.2 million from $1 million.
Cyanotech posted a net loss of for the quarter ending Sept. 30 of $344,000, or 7 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $572,000, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.2 percent to $2.6 million from $2.4 million a year earlier.
The company also launched two formulations in the quarter as part of its efforts to improve its product mix with more human nutrition products and higher-margin branded products.