August 30, 2017 / 5:56 AM / a year ago

Cargill-partner Evolva cuts 43 percent of workers to stem losses

ZURICH (Reuters) - Evolva (EVE.S) is cutting 43 percent of its workforce, paring locations and jettisoning additional management by year’s end as the Swiss-based sugar substitute maker seeks to arrest widening losses, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Evolva, whose partnership with U.S.-food giant Cargill on stevia-based sweetener EverSweet has faced delays, said it will trim its headcount to 100 from 178 people to reduce operating expenses by 11 million Swiss francs ($11.52 million) starting in the second quarter of 2018.

The company, which previously reported its first-half loss widened to 20.3 million francs, will spin off its Chennai, India, branch into an independent research and development services group. Additionally, Chief Business Officer Pascal Longchamp, science head Jorgen Hansen and India head Panchapagesa Murali will step down before the end of 2017.

“Our leadership and operations will be significantly optimized to ensure that our products achieve their full potential and our innovation engine remains strong,” said Chief Executive Simon Waddington, who was appointed in July.

Evolva 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.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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