QUFU, China, Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunwin Stevia International, Inc., "Sunwin Stevia" (OTC QB: SUWN), one of the top global providers of high quality stevia extracts including Rebaudioside A 98, announced today that the company expects sales and operating income to improve in fiscal 2014 which begins on May 1, 2013 as worldwide demand for stevia is forecasted to rise and supply chain pricing pressures begin to ease. Sunwin Stevia sees fiscal 2014 revenue reaching $18 million in annual sales with $2 million in net operating income.
Over the past two years, Sunwin Stevia has been undergoing major changes to solidify a position as one of the global leaders in the production of high quality stevia extracts through a significant investment of capital in research and development as well as a substantial upgrade of its production facilities. During this past year there has been a substantial decline in the overall price of higher grades of stevia, mainly due to a major supplier in financial difficulty liquidating inventories as well as slower than expected adoption rates in the U.S. While this has resulted in declining margins for the entire industry and a significant decline in revenue at Sunwin Stevia thus far in fiscal 2013, management believes these pressures are beginning to abate and the expansion of stevia in the E.U. as well as increased use in the U.S. will lead to an improving environment in calendar 2013 and beyond. Sunwin Stevia's investment in technology will also help to lower its production costs to help improve overall margins when sales are expected resume a strong growth track.
Management believes Sunwin Stevia is well positioned to take advantage of industry trends that will result in substantially increased usage of stevia in the coming years in numerous food products including beverages, candies, baked goods, sweeteners, sauces and seasonings, and snacks. Datamonitor in a 2012 Food Navigator article estimates stevia product launches in North America to reach approximately 230 products in 2012 up from a few dozen launches per year in the 2006 to 2008 timeframe. Zenith International also estimates worldwide sales of stevia extract which reached 3,500 tons in 2010 with an overall market value of $285 million will reach as much as 11,000 tons by 2014.
More than 40 countries have either approved stevia for use in food products or are in the final stages of approval. Combined, it is estimated that more than 1,000 products worldwide now contain stevia, ranging from beverages to energy bars.