Exponential profit growth for hemp hawker Ecofibre

4 February 2020, Written by Matt Ogg

Exponential profit growth for hemp hawker Ecofibre

Just a day after Elixinol's (ASX: EXL) fire sale of Hemp Foods Australia (HFA), another hemp company has reported an encouraging result to the market.

Ecofibre (ASX: EOF), one of Australia's largest growers of hemp foods and a seller of hemp-based nutraceuticals, notched a 1883 per cent rise in profit for the first half of FY20.

Whilst the growth came off a low base and the profit figure is relatively small at $7 million, revenue growth of 118 per cent to $29 million was also promising.

The bulk of sales came from Ananda Health, a US-focused subsidiary that supplies several large distributors and independent pharmacy buying groups with hemp-derived CBD oil.

Ecofibre reports it has started to acquire new customers, and has also received licences and permits to import and distribute Ananda Health products from the United States into Australia.

Meanwhile the company's Ananda Food business, which sources hemp from Tasmania, has secured Woolworths as a major new client stocking its de-hulled seed and protein powder under the Woolworths Macro brand.

"The business also secured group-level approval to supply IGA stores with Ananda Food branded product," Ecofibre said.

The group's Hemp Black business is a longer-term prospect to deliver high-tech uses for hemp, and is reportedly progressing towards commercialisation.

"Construction of the company's new headquarters and production facility [in Georgetown, Kentucky] for selected Hemp Black feedstock is ahead of schedule and on-track for completion in April 2020," the company said in today's update.

The group is backed by Barry Lambert (pictured), who was attracted to Ecofibre through his efforts to find a healthy alternative to treat his granddaughter's epileptic condition.

Before he came on board with Ecofibre in 2015, the Countplus founder and his wife had already given $33.7 million to the University of Sydney for research into cannabinoid therapeutics; an initiative later replicated at the largest medical university in the US, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

In the first half, the company issued 464,883 to Thomas Jefferson University in relation to a research and share subscription agreement, out of a total of 5.6 million new shares that were issued during the period.

The EOF share price hit a high of $3.90 in November 2019, but like most hemp and cannabis-related stocks it has fallen in value since then. Today's news lifted the stock by 4.6 per cent this morning to reach $2.97.

Related story: Ecofibre, the Aussie hemp giant pushing a $1 billion market cap

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