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/ BARBARA MURPHY

Biopool Reports Record Sales, Earnings Drop

March 31, 1998|BARBARA MURPHY

Biopool International in Ventura reported record sales but a drop in earnings last year. Both results were tied to the company's acquisition of BCA on Jan. 1, 1997, company officials said.

Sales for the year advanced 106% to $16.5 million from $8.02 million in 1996. Net income was $843,000, or 9 cents a share, compared to $1.29 million or 16 cents per share for the previous year.

Primary factors contributing to the decrease in earnings were a restructuring charge of $342,000 taken in connection with the consolidation of the company's Canadian facilities in the fourth quarter, increased interest expense related to the BCA acquisition and a reduction in tax benefits, the company said.

For the fourth quarter, sales increased 79% to $3.84 million from $2.14 million in 1996. However, Biopool reported a net loss of $310,000 or 4 cents per share for the quarter, compared with net income of $282,000 or 3 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

Michael D. Bick, chairman and chief executive officer, said Biopool had strong quarters in line with expectations through the third quarter.

"The fourth quarter, however, demonstrated a weakening of sales in nearly all areas of our business," Bick said. "As our market undergoes rapid change, Biopool's management team continues to work vigorously to identify the nature and impact of those changes and implement new strategies."

Biopool develops and manufactures test kits to diagnose blood disorders, monitor drugs of abuse, and group and type whole blood. The products are sold to hospitals, blood bank facilities, and clinical and reference laboratories.

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