Canada-based stevia supplier GLG Life Tech has had to push back the filing of its annual accounts.

The company has had to go beyond the 30 March deadline as its auditors work to secure information from third parties. It said it expected to file its 2011 results by 30 April.

The announcement, made today (30 March), is the latest disclosure in an up-and-down year for GLG Life Tech. It has faced lawsuits over allegations that it had failed to disclose certain information under US securities rules, claims the company denies.

In November, GLG Life Tech announced a deal to supply stevia to global ingredients group International Flavors & Fragrances.

However, it has seen sales fall amid problems with the after-taste of its stevia, which led to product launches being delayed. GLG Life Tech's most recent publicly-available results showed that revenue fell 39% in the nine months to the end of September to C$24.4m. It ran up a net loss of C$42.9m.

In its announcement today on the delay to the filing of its annual results, GLG Life Tech said the "main challenge and biggest difficulty" is formulating stevia that leads to "good tasting products".

It said there was "increasing competition" in the sector and there had been an "over-supply" of stevia in 2011, which led to "very competitive" pricing on "large volume opportunities".

Looking at its business, GLG Life Tech said customers had built up "significant inventory" 2010 and the first half of 2011. Its clients had expected demand in markets like the US and Mexico and the EU and India to award regulatory approval earlier, it said.

The EU cleared the use of stevia in November, which GLG Life Tech said, was an "opportunity" for the sector with the prospect of increased demand. The company said India is expected to approve the use of the ingredient this year.

"There are signs that stevia is making headway in penetrating the consumer market," it said. "The US market for consumer products sweetened with stevia continues to expand. According to an August 2011 Mintel study, sales of stevia products in the US are expected to reach nearly $1.2bn in 2013, up from $439m in 2010. According to Datamonitor, for the 12 months to September 2011, more than 300 stevia-sweetened products launched in the US and 630 launched globally."