DUBLIN, Ireland Trinity Biotech has reported a 51 percent earnings-per-share growth for the third quarter. The company posted net income of US$0.7 million on US$5.8 million revenues, which represents US$0.28 earnings per share, for the period ending Sept. 30. This is the seventh consecutive quarter in which Dublin-based Trinity has posted profit and revenue increases, said chief financial officer Jonathan O¿Connell.
The company acquired four product lines during the quarter, for a total outlay of approximately US$17 million. The lines did not have a significant effect on Trinity¿s profit-and-loss account during the quarter, but they have altered the composition of its balance sheet. (See BioWorld International, Nov. 4, 1998, p. 5.)
U.S. Marketing Block Sidestepped
Trinity ended the quarter with US$3.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, down from more than US$5 million at the end of the second quarter. Long-term liabilities rose from US$8.7 million to US$18.3 million, reflecting some US$11 million in deferred payments due on the acquisitions and increased bank debt. Inventories have also increased significantly, from US$3.7 million to US$11.6 million. The company plans to meet its payment schedule over the next two years from operating cash flows.
Trinity¿s acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based Selfcare¿s HIV business has given its own product development and marketing efforts a significant boost. Until now, Trinity had been precluded from selling its HIV products in First World markets. The company launched a rapid test for HIV based on its Uni-Gold platform in mid-1996, but it has yet to gain FDA approval for the product. Discussions with the FDA ¿were becoming difficult¿ because the company lacked an HIV license for the U.S. market, said company CEO Ronan O¿Caoimh.
The acquisition enables Trinity to circumvent this difficulty, as the Selfcare acquisition includes an HIV license for Europe and the US. In addition, the acquisition also includes a ¿magnificent¿ set of recombinant HIV antigens, which will enable Trinity to further refine its HIV product line, O¿Caoimh said.