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Trinity Biotech Q4 Revenues Drop 13 Percent on Lower POC Test Sales

NEW YORK — Irish diagnostics firm Trinity Biotech reported on Tuesday a 13 percent year-over-year decline in fourth quarter revenues amid a sharp drop in sales of its point-of-care testing products.

The company also noted that it is working on two SARS-CoV-2 tests, including a rapid point-of-care assay that is expected to be fully developed within the next two months.

For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2019 Trinity's revenues fell to $21.3 million from $24.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Point-of-care revenues dropped 45 percent to $2.2 million from $4.0 million, while clinical laboratory revenues fell nearly 7 percent to $19.1 million from $20.5 million.

Trinity attributed the lower point-of-care revenues to lower sales in the US HIV point-of-care testing market – which the company recently exited amid a decline in funding for federal testing programs – and in Africa, where it experienced normal fluctuations in ordering patterns. Trinity said the decline in clinical lab revenues reflects a drop in infectious disease revenues, including lower Lyme disease sales due in part to a migration away from Western blot testing.

Trinity CEO Ronan O’Caoimh noted in a statement that the company is planning to close its Carlsbad, California manufacturing plant at the end of June due to the shift away from Western blot testing for Lyme disease.

Trinity recorded a Q4 net loss of $23.3 million, or $.87 per American depositary receipt (ADR), versus a year-ago loss of $24.0 million, or roughly $0.92 per ADR.

R&D spending in the quarter fell 7 percent to $1.3 million from $1.4 million, while SG&A costs dipped nearly 6 percent to $6.4 million from $6.8 million.

For the full-year 2019, Trinity's revenues were down 7 percent to $90.4 million from $97.0 million. Point-of-care revenues for 2019 were down 23 percent to $11.4 million from $14.8 million a year earlier, while clinical lab revenues fell 4 percent to $79.0 million from $82.2 million.

Trinity's net loss for 2019 was $28.9 million, or about $.96 per ADR, versus $22.1 million, or approximately $.71 per ADR

R&D expenses in 2019 were down slightly at $5.3 million from $5.4 million, while SG&A costs fell to $26.9 million from $28.2 million.

At the end of 2019, Trinity had cash, cash equivalents, and deposits totaling $16.4 million.

Looking ahead, Trinity said that the current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to negatively impact revenues in the first and second quarters of 2020.

O’Caoimh said that the company is "close" to completing development of an ELISA-based test for SARS-Cov-2 antibody detection in blood, and that the test's manufacturing is being transferred to a facility in New York state. Meanwhile, a rapid point-of-care test for SARS-CoV-2, which is being designed to detect virus antibodies in a fingerstick blood sample within 12 minutes, is expected to be ready within two months.

"These tests will be launched in all of our major markets in an expedited manner by availing of emergency regulatory pathways," he said.