Cultured, probiotic and functional food manufacturer Lifeway Foods yesterday [Wednesday] reported record year-end results for the 2001 fiscal year.

The company reported net income of US$1,220,927 or US$.28 per share on sales of US$10,683,983 for the year ended 31 December 2001, compared to net income of US$927,100 or US$.21 per share on sales of US$9,176,739 for the year ended 31 December 2000. Those figures represent a 16% increase in sales and a 32% increase in net income over 2000, also a record year.

Michael Smolyansky, President and CEO, attributed the company's strong performance in 2001 to continued expansion in mainstream markets, and the growing acceptance of SoyTreat(TM), the probiotic soy beverage, and Lifeway Organic(TM) lines, as well as the rising awareness of the probiotic health-related benefits of its flagship kefir beverages.

He predicted continued growth in 2002, generated in part by the recent expansion of Lifeway products into the Hispanic market under the brand name La Fruta(TM).

"Our growth in 2001 was almost identical to what we experienced in 2000, and we appear to be on track for stronger gains this year based on our results to date."

Smolyansky added, "Our La Fruta products are performing exceptionally well in the Hispanic community, which represents the fastest- growing demographic in the US, and the rest of our product line continues to sell briskly. We therefore have every reason to believe that 2002 will again break records for sales and profits."