“Our illumigene ® simplified molecular platform represented 16% of revenues, and our overall C. difficile category grew by 13%. With regard to new products, illumigene Group B strep contributed sales of $700,000. This product is becoming more widely adopted as laboratories and clinicians recognize that birth complications can be reduced due to its very high accuracy. We now have nearly 975 illumigene customers, with more now using two or three illumigene tests. In addition, we closed agreements with several large hospital groups that are expected to contribute importantly to illumigene revenues in the remainder of the year. Foodborne test sales improved 15% in the period and our H. pylori diagnostics grew by 10%. With the early start to the influenza season, not surprisingly, the respiratory category increased 42%, with flu accounting for $1 million of incremental revenues.
“Operating metrics were strong as we leveraged top line revenue growth with efficient manufacturing and prudent spending. Gross profit improved from 61.2% to 63.5%, which enabled an operating income rate of 29% and net income of 19%. Beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the 2.3% Medical Device tax will impact U.S. Diagnostics results. We believe that with continued revenue growth and operating efficiencies we can minimize the negative effects of this new tax.
“For the past three quarters we have been focused on continued productivity from our R&D efforts and maintaining industry leading operating efficiency, as we trained, equipped and upgraded our U.S. Diagnostics sales team. Meridian’s role is evolving as our breakthrough new technologies and products enable hospitals and other healthcare institutions to reduce overall costs while significantly improving patient outcomes. The outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2013 is very positive.”
William J. Motto, Executive Chairman of the Board, said “Operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were gratifying and on-plan. With new products already introduced, and more to follow, we expect continued growth in sales and earnings during the remainder of the fiscal year. Our recent changes to the diagnostic sales force are showing positive results. Our financial condition is sound, cash flow is strong, and our dividend is secure. Although internally generated growth is providing favorable sales and earnings, we continue to look for appropriate acquisitions and the growth opportunities they could provide.”