Herbalife unveils China TCM joint venture as it posts flat full-year sales for 2016

Herbalife has announced a joint venture with TCM firm Tasly.

Herbalife has reached an agreement in principle to form a joint venture with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) products and services firm Tasly Holding Group.

The joint venture will, says Herbalife, develop and commercialise "high-quality consumer health products based on Tasly’s deep portfolio of proprietary formulations, patents, know-hows, and clinical studies".

Herbalife, would bring to table its scientific, regulatory and commercial know-how to boost the products on the global stage, it said. Its supplements and nutrition products are availble exclusively through direct selling in more than 90 countries.

"We are honored to work with Tasly, which is well regarded for its premium TCM products and ingredients,” said Michael O. Johnson, Herbalife chairman and CEO. “The Herbalife Nutrition seed to feed philosophy ensures the quality and traceability of our ingredients from cultivation to the final delivery of products to customers, and Tasly has patents, clinical research, and traceability of key ingredients, making this a natural partnership.”

Vice chairman of Tasly Holding Group Dr Henry Sun, added: “We believe the combination of Tasly’s pharmaceutical development experience and experts, clinical research skills and network along with the two firms' high-end quality control standards, will bring the best evidence-based products to consumers.”

Manufacturing process

Tasly, which has 18,000 employees globally, manages a range of pharmaceutical, consumer products, healthcare services and distribution channels in China.

It also has its own a manufacturing and development process for its TCM products. The joint venture is expected to be finalised within the next 60 days.

The announcement was made as Herbalife posted its full-year results for 2016. 

It reported flat sales of $4.5bn, while on a reported basis net income slipped to $260.0m, or $3.02 per diluted share, compared to net income of $339.1m, or $3.97 per diluted share, for 2015.

Adjusted earnings for 2016 was $4.85 per diluted share compared to $4.952 per diluted share for 2015.

"Due to the negative impact of currency, full year 2016 reported and adjusted net income were each negatively impacted by $82.2m, and reported diluted EPS and adjusted diluted EPS were each negatively impacted by $0.95," the company told investors.

Additionally, the firm said its board of directors has approved a new three-year $1.5bn share buyback programme, which Johnson said was a "further testament of our commitment to enhance shareholder value.”

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