Strong revenue growth from its joint blood screening businessand its ophthalmics unit helped Chiron Corp. earn $5.4 million,or 27 cents a share, on revenues of $29.9 million in the thirdquarter.

The Emeryville, Calif., company earned about $4 million, or 23cents, on revenues of $19.1 million in the comparable 1990quarter.

Revenues from Chiron's blood screening venture with OrthoDiagnostics Systems Inc. grew to $12.1 million in the quarterended Sept. 30, compared with about $8 million in the 1990period. Sales of diagnostic products to Ortho fell to $2.2million from $2.6 million a year ago.

Chiron Ophthalmics posted sales of $4.7 million compared with$1.6 million in the year-earlier period.

Chiron's proposed merger partner, Cetus Corp., reported a netloss of $16.1 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of$15.7 million in the 1990 quarter.

Revenues were $6.6 million, compared with $7.6 million a yearago. The figures exclude revenues from the Emeryvillecompany's polymerase chain reaction business, which is beingsold to Hoffmann La Roche.

Without the $3.3 million in PCR income, Cetus posted anoperating loss of $19.4 million. The loss was $17.8 million inthe 1990 quarter.

The monthly operating loss, including the PCR business, wasabout $4.2 million, Cetus said -- within the limit permittedunder the merger agreement.

The current quarter's financials included $2.2 million incharges relating to work force reduction and merger-relatedcosts.

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