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Trinity Biotech Posts Flat Q4 Revenues

NEW YORK (360Dx) — Irish diagnostics firm Trinity Biotech reported today revenues of $24.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, essentially unchanged from the same period a year earlier amid a drop in revenues from its clinical laboratory operations.

For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, Trinity's clinical lab revenues slipped 1 percent to $20.5 million from $20.7 million. The company attributed the decline to lower sales of Lyme disease products and currency changes, which offset increased sales of diabetes and autoimmunity assays and services. Point-of-care revenues — which includes sales of HIV, infectious disease, drugs of abuse, and fertility assays — rose 5 percent to $4.0 million from $3.8 million.

Trinity posted a Q4 profit of $792,000, or $.07 per share, versus $886,000, or nearly $.08 per share, in the year-ago period. The decrease, it said, was primarily due to a $1 million tax credit in 2017 and a $300,000 tax charge in 2018.

Trinity's R&D spending in the quarter fell to $1.4 million from $1.5 million, while SG&A expenses dropped to $6.8 million from $7.6 million, reflecting a cost-saving plan implemented in 2018.

For the full-year 2018, Trinity's revenues fell 2 percent to $97.0 million from $99.1 million, driven by a nearly 12 percent drop in point-of-care revenues. The firm cited lower HIV sales in Africa caused by erratic ordering patterns, as well as significant overstocking by an unnamed large customer in 2017 and constraints on federally funded HIV public health programs in the US.

In a statement, Trinity CEO Ronan O'Caoimh said that despite the impacted revenues in Africa, "we retained all of our customers and testing algorithm positions, thus preserving our dominance of the HIV confirmatory market in Africa. We also have a major opportunity to take a significant share of the much larger screening market with our forthcoming launch of our Trin-Screen product, which has been specifically designed to address the screening market."

Clinical lab revenues for 2018 were down slightly at $82.2 million from $82.4 million the year before, as higher diabetes and autoimmunity sales were again offset by lower Lyme revenues due to the loss of a contract with a major US lab services provider. Foreign exchange movements, particularly in Brazil, also affected clinical lab revenues.

Trinity recorded a 2018 profit of $2.4 million, or $.26 per share, compared with $2.3 million, or $.26 per share, in 2017.

Trinity's cost-savings plan led to a 5 percent decline in R&D spending in 2018 to $5.4 million from $5.7 million, and a 6 percent reduction in SG&A costs to $28.2 million from $30 million.  

At the end of 2018, Trinity had cash, cash equivalents, and deposits totaling $30.3 million.