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ZURICH, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Food additive maker Evolva's shares tumbled more than a fifth in early trading on Tuesday after the Swiss company issued a profit warning and said its stevia-based sweetener Eversweet will not be launched until 2018.
The shares fell as much as 22 percent after the maker of the sugar substitute said 2016 revenue would come in at around 10 million Swiss francs ($9.87 million), a third less than had been expected in August.
Evolva had said in March that Eversweet's launch would be delayed beyond 2016 due to production hurdles, including bringing costs down to meet customers' expectations, but on Tuesday it said it will not hit the market until 2018.
Evolva will launch Eversweet with its manufacturing partner U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill, it said, though the 2018 plan is subject to the successful conclusion of "ongoing negotiations" between the two companies by this spring.
It also said 2016 sales of other products including nootkatone, a fragrance ingredient, and dietary supplement resveratrol had missed the company's projections.
"This newsflow is very disappointing," analysts at Bank Vontobel in Zurich said in a note. "Uncertainty regarding stevia has clearly increased and we see the probability of success of this product reducing."
Evolva said in a statement that it "believes it has a good financial position going into 2017 and expects an uptick in both product and partnership revenues."
It said it still has about 47 million francs in cash. ($1 = 1.0129 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Susan Fenton)