Swiss sugar substitute maker Evolva to cut 78 jobs in attempt to stem losses - Just Food
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Swiss sugar substitute maker Evolva to cut 78 jobs in attempt to stem losses

30 Aug 2017

Evolva, the Swiss-based firm that develops and commercialises ‘next-generation speciality ingredients’ for health, wellness and nutrition markets, is to cut its workforce by 43% in an attempt to arrest losses.

The company, which gained a new CEO last month, has also announced management group departures and is to spin off its Indian research arm.

The Reinach-headquartered business, which has seen a partnership with Cargill on Stevia-based sweetener EverSweet face delays, is to cut its headcount to 100 from the current 178 as it attempts to reduce operating expenses by CHF11m (US$11.52m).

Chief business officer Pascal Longchamp, chief scientific officer Jorgen Hansen and India head Panchapagesa Murali will step down before the end of 2017, while the Chennai, India, branch of the organisation will be spun off into an independent research and development services group.

It will centralise research and development activities predominantly at its headquarters in Switzerland.

The action has been taken to help stem the company’s losses, which widened to CHF20.3m in its first half.

Evolva said it anticipates its annual operating expenses ‘run rate’ will decrease by approximately 30%, or roughly CHF11m, developing full effect in the second quarter of 2018.

But it said it will take a one-time charge in 2017 against its profit and loss statement of around CHF5m and estimates capital expenditures for the centralisation of its laboratories and small-scale fermentation equipment to equal around CHF1m, with the majority being spent in Q4 2017. 

Evolva CEO Simon Waddington said: “Evolva is undertaking the next logical step in its own evolution. Both our leadership and operations will be significantly optimised to ensure that our products achieve their full potential and our innovation engine remains strong. 

“The choices we make today will strengthen our ability to deliver commercial success, realise future innovation breakthroughs, and produce shareholder value.” 

Evolva announced in its half-year results further details of its future intended strategic direction to aggressively grow product revenues and accelerate the path to a cash flow break-even position. 

The firm said guidance on product revenues – forecast to more than triple in 2017 over the previous year – is not expected to be affected by the restructuring.

It said it will enter commercial collaborations with “market leading companies” in addition to selected direct sales. 

Evolva said it will provide a further update on commercial strategy and mid-term targets later in the third quarter of this year.