UK nutritional food and drinks maker Nutrinnovator has said it expects its results for the six months to 30 September to be in line with its expectations despite lower sales revenues.

The company, which also announced its plans to develop a heart-healthy drink, said it expects to deliver first-half losses and cash flows in line with the group's expectations for the financial year ending March 2005.

"This is despite sales revenues being substantially below expectations, primarily due to delays in Altu food bar support activity caused by an extended IPO process, and slower than expected building of distribution," the company said.

Nutrinnovator said it has addressed these delays in sales by appointing UK sales agent Food Brokers as selling agent for an initial period of three years, commencing 1 October 2004. This move is aimed at significantly increasing sales resource for the Altu brand.

The company said major retailers continue to express interest in the Altu brand, with Boots agreeing to list Altu nationally from October 2004.

Nutrinnovator also announced that it has agreed a joint venture with Provexis Limited to develop a new heart-healthy drink. The venture will be 45% owned by Nutrinnovator, and product development will be funded from the company's existing cash resources.

"The drink will be the first of its kind - a juice drink containing a patented natural fruit extract which has been proven in human trials to "thin" the blood and benefit the circulation," the company said.

Nutrinnovator said it will develop a commercial product ready for UK launch in May 2005, and the joint venture plans to then expand distribution into the USA and Japan.