DUBLIN, Ireland - Trinity Biotech (NASDAQ:TRIBY) announced net profit of US$1.2 million, or US$0.06 earnings per share, on revenues of US$16.8 million for the year ended December 1997, as compared with the previous year's net loss of US$792,000, or US$0.05 per share, on $7.2 million turnover.

The company's two 1997 acquisitions, Clark Laboratories, of Jamestown, N.Y., and the U.K. infectious-diseases division of Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., made contributions to the bottom line, said Trinity Biotech's chief financial officer, Jonathan O'Connell.

“Both acquisitions would have contributed to profits this year,“ he said. Clark Laboratories, already profitable when Dublin-based Trinity Biotech took it over last February, made the larger contribution. (See BioWorld International, Feb. 26, 1997, p. 1.)

If not for foreign exchange write-offs associated with translating its figures between Irish pounds (its accounting currency), and U.S. dollars (its reporting currency), Trinity Biotech's revenue figure would have been about US$17.5 million.

“Because of this, we're looking at changing our functional currency, because all our revenue is U.S. dollar-based,“ O'Connell said.

Trinity Biotech has US$5 million in cash. Part of this figure is derived from a contested tranche of shares in Selfcare Inc. of Waltham, Mass. The Irish company paid U.K.-based Enviromed US$2.6 million for the shares, which are now worth over US$7 million, according to the present value of the stock, O'Connell said.

Ownership of the shares, however, is the subject of a legal dispute with Selfcare. “That dispute will be settled at some stage fairly shortly, is my guess,“ O'Connell said.

Trinity Biotech's share price crept up $0.09 during trading on Friday and Monday to close at US$2.03. *