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Trinity Biotech Posts 4 Percent Drop in Q1 Revenues

NEW YORK — Trinity Biotech on Wednesday posted a nearly 4 percent drop year over year in first quarter revenues as lower clinical laboratory revenues more than offset an increase in sales of its point-of-care products.

For the three-month period ended March 31, Trinity posted revenues of $21.2 million versus $22.0 million in the year-ago quarter.

Clinical laboratory revenues were down 5 percent year over year to $17.8 million from $18.8 million, which Trinity attributed to the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on sales of infectious disease products in China, delayed purchases of its diabetes instruments, and slowed demand for autoimmune testing at its New York-based reference lab. The Irish diagnostics firm also continued to experience declining sales of its Western blot-based Lyme disease tests due to a migration to other technologies for confirmatory testing, and said that it remains on track to close its Carlsbad, California-based facility that manufactured the Western blot products by the end of the June.

Point-of-care revenues, meanwhile, were up 3 percent year over year to $3.3 million from $3.2 million on increased sales of its HIV tests in Africa, which more than made up for the decrease in sales from the US HIV testing market that Trinity exited in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Trinity's net loss for the first quarter was $2.2 million, or roughly $.04 per American depositary receipt (ADR), compared with a loss of $211,000, or earnings of about $.04 per ADR, in the year-ago quarter.

R&D spending in the quarter rose nearly 8 percent year over year to $1.4 million from $1.3 million as the company advances an ELISA-based SARS-CoV-2 test toward a submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization by the end of next month and works on a rapid, point-of-care antibody test for the virus. SG&A costs in Q1 fell almost 8 percent to $6.1 million from $6.6 million. Trinity also recorded a $2.4 million charge in the quarter related to the closure of the Carlsbad facility.

At the end of March, Trinity had cash, cash equivalents, and deposits totaling $13.2 million.

Trinity CFO Kevin Tansley said in a statement that the company has secured financial support from the US and Irish governments during the pandemic, which includes $4.5 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that the company expects will mostly be forgiven. "We have also furloughed a significant number of employees in response to lower demand and eliminated all nonessential expenditure," he said.

CEO Ronan O'Caoimh added that the company is starting to see a rebound in revenues as SARS-CoV-2-related restrictions ease. "We are also confident that once the pandemic passes business will revert to normality and that by its nature diagnostics will be largely protected from the worst economic impact of any economic downturn which may ensue," he added. "Meanwhile, sales of our transport medium and sample collection device for Covid-19 are gaining traction."