Cyanotech’s profit lifts

Cyanotech Corp.'s net income rose 35.4 percent in its fiscal first quarter but the company warned it remains cautious about animal feed sales in Japan because of the aftereffects of a severe typhoon season there last year.


The Kona-based producer of nutritional goods from microalgae said it earned $153,000 last quarter, or 1 cent a share, compared with $113,000, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 11.9 percent to $3 million from $2.7 million.

Gerald Cysewski, chairman and chief executive of Cyanotech, said the first quarter was characterized by stronger sales of all the company's products from the previous quarter and the year-earlier period.

"We have been cultivating Spirulina Pacifica for 20 years at our Kona facility and our focus on quality, product safety and high value has attracted customers who desire this high-quality product," Cysewski said.

The company said in June a test showed that Spirulina, which is used as a general health supplement, does not contain a neurotoxin reported to be found in other types of cyanobacteria. The company conducted the test after an April publication of the National Academy of Sciences found the toxin in diverse groups of cyanobacteria. Cyanotech said Spirulina was not included in the 30 types of cyanobacteria in the study.

Cysewski also said he was excited about the potential of BioAstin for increased sales. The product has been shown in some company studies to be more than 500 times stronger than Vitamin E and is used as an anti-inflammatory. Clinical trials also have shown it to be effective in reducing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments.

The company's other key product, NatuRose, is an animal feed derived from natural astaxanthin that allows farmers to grow fish with a pink flesh pigmentation. But uncertain demand for that product from Japan prompted Cysewski's warning.

Cysewski said he was optimistic about achieving annual revenue growth and continuing to be profitable following last year's conversion of six of the company's 54 Spirulina ponds to natural astaxanthin microalgae ponds. The switch was made to take advantage of the high unit sales prices of BioAstin and NatuRose.

"We are now able to better adapt our cultivation and processing according to market trends," he said.

Cyanotech Corp.

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