Posted on October 7, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

Organic kefir co.’s COO sheds roles

Lifeway's Edward Smolyansky is no longer treasurer or secretary

Lifeway Foods, Inc., the leading U.S. supplier of organic and non-organic kefir cultured dairy products, said Monday that its COO and major stockholder Edward Smolyansky is no longer treasurer or secretary of the company.

The Smolyansky family, including CEO Julie, own the majority of common stock of the Morton Grove, Ill.-based company (Nasdaq: LWAY).

Lifeway said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday that its CFO Eric Hanson, 45, is now treasurer, a position held by Edward Smolyansky, 39, since 2004, while Lifeway’s general counsel, Douglas Hass, 43, is now secretary, a position Edward Smolyansky held since 2012.

In August, Lifeway reported a second quarter net loss of $141,000, or -$0.01 per share, on sales of $23.2 million, down 14.6 percent. For all of 2018, Lifeway reported a $3.1 million loss for 2018 on sales of $103.4 million, down 13 percent. For all of 2017, Lifeway reported a loss of $346,000 on sales of $118.9 million, down 4 percent.

The company’s stock has a 52-week low of $1.81 and a 52-week high of $4.75. Lifeway has a market cap of $32.8 million. Since March 2015, when the company’s shares hit an all-time high of $21.90, Lifeway has shown a consistent decline, especially with recent drops in revenue and squeezed margins.

Since 1999, France-based Danone S.A., the world’s largest yogurt producer, has owned 22 percent of Lifeway’s stock.

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