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Cyanotech profits soar on higher microalgae sales

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Kona-based Cyanotech Corp. more than doubled its earnings in the latest fiscal year thanks largely to strong demand for its microalgae nutritional supplements, the company reported today.

Cyanotech’s net income rose to $3.6 million, or 66 cents a share, for the 12-month period ending March 31, up 110 percent from $1.7 million, or 32 cents a share during the same period a year earlier. For the final three months of the fiscal year net income totaled $1.2 million, or 20 cents a share, up 46 percent from $795,000, or 14 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Cyanotech makes high-value nutrition and health products from microalgae at its 90-acre facility in Kona.. Sales of its branded Spirulina Pacifica and BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin products rose to $24.6 million in fiscal 2012, a 46 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

Cyanotech distributes the products in bulk form to nutritional supplement, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical manufacturers and marketers in the United States and more than 53 other countries.

In a quarterly regulatory filing Cyanotech officials said they competition in the spirulina market remains high due to the large number of suppliers. They said Cyanotech is responding by emphasizing the “higher quality” of Hawaiian spirulina.

Competition for astaxanthin sales, by comparison, is less intense because of the limited number of suppliers and increasing demand for the produce.

“Because of this, we expect current producers to increase capacity to meet this increasing demand, placing further competitive pressures on us in the future,” according to the filing.
Cyanotech’s shares closed up 1 cent at $7.21 on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

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