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updated: 8/15/2013 11:43 AM

Probiotic sales drive Morton Grove's Lifeway sales up 14 percent

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Cultured dairy products manufacturer Lifeway Foods of Morton Grove said second quarter sales increase 14 percent on continued growth of its probiotics Kefir products.

Gross sales for the quarter increased to $25.8 million compared to $22.7 million for the second quarter of 2012, as sales and awareness of the company's flagship line, Kefir, as well as ProBugs Organic Kefir for kids and BioKefir, continues to grow. Total consolidated net sales increased 12 percent, or $2.5 million, to $23.1 million during the period, up from $20.6 million during the same three-month period last year.

"We are pleased with our second quarter results as we continued to execute on our plan to increase distribution in new and existing retailers and strengthen awareness of our nutritious probiotic kefir products among health conscious consumers," said Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky. "In the quarter, we also focused on the integration of our new dairy manufacturing facility and we believe this will help expand our margins and support our future growth opportunities long-term. We look forward to this facility being fully operational at the end of the year."

Gross profit for the second quarter was $7.6 million, unchanged compared to the second quarter of the prior year. The company's gross profit margin decreased to 33 percent in the second quarter, compared to 37 percent in the second quarter of 2012, primarily due to a 20 percent increase in the cost of milk, the company's largest raw material.

Consolidated gross sales for the first two quarters of the year increased by $9.2 million, or approximately 21 percent, to $53.4 million, up from $44.3 million during the same six-month period in 2012. Total consolidated net sales during that time increased by $7.5 million, or approximately 19 percent, to $47.5 million, from $40.0 million during the same six-month period in 2012.

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