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Novacyt Posts 8 Percent Revenue Growth in 2018

NEW YORK (360Dx) — French diagnostics firm Novacyt today reported an 8 percent year-over-year revenue increase for 2018 on higher sales from its Primerdesign and Lab21 diagnostic reagent units.

For the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 2018 Novacyt's revenues climbed to €13.7 million ($15.4 million) from adjusted 2017 revenues of €12.7 million, which do not include the company's Novaprep cytology business and clinical laboratory operations that are slated for divestiture.

Primerdesign's 2018 sales rose almost 2 percent to €6.2 million from €6.1 million the year before, as core business growth was offset by reduced business-to-business revenues and a non-recurring €1 million sale in 2017. Meanwhile, Lab21 revenues rose 12 percent to €7.5 million from €6.7 million in 2018, benefiting from the mid-2018 acquisition of the infectious disease kit business of Omega Diagnostics.

Novacyt posted a 2018 net loss of €4.7 million, or €.13 per share, compared to  a year-ago loss of €5.4 million, or €.24 per share.

The company's R&D spending in 2018 fell 35 percent to €406,000 from €626,000, while SG&A costs climbed about 15 percent to €8.6 million from €7.5 million.

At the end of 2018, Novacyt had cash and cash equivalents of €1.1 million. Last week the company said it entered a convertible bond facility for up to €5.0 million that it intends to draw down over the next 36 months.

"The group, on a continued operations basis, is now EBITDA profitable and we aim to build on the operational progress made in 2018 to continue to deliver double-digit revenue growth from this base, further increase margins with the medium target to become self-sustainable on a free cash-flow basis, and look at the potential for further acquisitions," Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said in a statement.

The company also said it aims to introduce this year three new diagnostic assays — geared toward immunosuppressed patients and complementary to its Genesig BK virus and Epstein-Barr virus assays, which were CE marked and launched last year — as well as commercialize q32, a larger next-generation version of its q16 qPCR instrument.