PureCircle, a producer of stevia ingredients, expects first-half sales to surge as food and beverage companies sign up for the natural sweetener.

Net sales are expected to show an increase of 80% to US$27m in the six months to 31 December, the company said in a trading update today (7 January). Volumes should see a 135% increase and all regions are expected to post sales growth, PureCircle said.

The company’s interim results for H1 will be announced on 13 March, it said.

Group CEO Magomet Malsagov said PureCircle signed a number of supply deals with “major global food and beverage companies” and brought new products to market in the six-month period.

“Across the world, large F&B brands began to adopt our ingredients, most notably carbonated soft drinks, including the important cola category,” Malsagov said.

PureCircle said it expects to report improved operating margins and EBITDA in the six-month period.

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Regulators around the world continue to authorise the use of the sugar substitute, with Canada formally approving stevia sweeteners last month.