Every few years, I issue a quarterly conference call (January through June) with the names of the industry leaders who will be speaking on the sidelines.
This quarter’s call will be held for information about ourportfolio’s performance, our businesses in fiscal Q1 (February), and with Fred Wilson, the founder of Union Square Ventures, and myself on the board, in addition to our investment partners at Union Square Ventures and Digital Sky Technologies.
My first objective will be to update you on where we stand with our business.
As it relates to ourportfolio as of today, we are pleased with where we stand with our businesses.
Here’s what we are seeing:
GMX Advanced Biotechnology with our Injectable Mentor is off to a strong start. We have been getting positive feedback from our customers, as well as from our customers in the healthcare and biotechnology industries. We expect to be at the beginning of clinical research by fall for a variety of marketed products, which we plan to initiate in the third quarter of calendar 2018.
We are disappointed that our performance of abbott is not at the same level we wanted it to be as far as the company is concerned. We are working aggressively to improve these results, and our performance in fiscal 2018 was impacted by issues in the quarter. This led to a difficult fiscal Q1. In addition, we previously announced the death of Dr. Glumetza in March, which impacted our financial performance. We are taking necessary steps to ensure that we meet our commitments, have a successful transition period, and demonstrate that the impact of Dr. Glumetza is behind us. The nature of ourportfolio provides multiple opportunities for us to capitalize on and to produce additional margin improvements, and we are focused on achieving a positive result.
We continue to invest in innovation, particularly ouragreement to launch a high-protein line of urate-free, digestible, low-calorie cereals. In addition, we are taking steps to create new products for protein-based beverages. Our other active ingredients portfolio, too, is off to a good start, with $8.2 million in revenues and the launch of four new products. Our nutrition and physical fitness businesses are very important parts of our portfolio and remain core to our business.
We have committed to continuously build on ourleading portfolio of core brands. Our Canadian business is performing well. We are currently moving our stabilizing brands into the healthier category, and we are taking the opportunity to ramp up promotion of Danisco’s refrigerated snacks into this brand.
Looking forward, it is too early to pinpoint a future return to growth for ophthalmic and dietary supplements in the U.S. outside of North America. For some of our businesses, this can take several quarters to realize results. Some need to gain some momentum. But the opportunity is there. A couple of our major brands which are contributing to the overall health of our business are being recognized by consumer-generated advertising top consumers such as Fitbit, Taylor Swift, Superfood, and Love Berry. A recent commercial [for the Ben & Jerry’s Curly Wurly] has created both positive and negative national media attention. These brands can and should now prove themselves on their own merits.
We are working towards our goals of achieving a profitable return to growth in several of our businesses, including Abbott, AbbVie, ANTHENA and ABRUS. Our performance with our core brands, however, continues to lag our growth in our other businesses. We will remain focused on our five-year plan and will give you a first-quarter review of our progress at our analyst conference on June 10.
We continue to work with our portfolio team to improve our performance, and we will provide an update at our analyst conference in the summer of 2019.
For the most recent quarter, we grew international segment organic sales by 8% over the prior year quarter, while our top-performing international markets — Australia, France, the U.K., and South Korea — grew faster than ours. As a reminder, we only report these results by geography, as our U.S. businesses are consolidated under our legacy business process.
All industries are inherently competitive and there is always a short-term impact on overall results. But it is important to note that we have a positive outlook in this most competitive period for the markets we serve. And that positively impacts the results of all of our business.
For others in the industry, whether for fiscal year 2018 or future periods, the macroeconomic environment is expected to remain challenging. For our business, however, we believe that there is still room for sustainable growth and margin expansion, and we believe that our team can achieve higher growth through the innovation efforts we have in place.