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Life Science Sales, Currency Effects Pull Bio-Rad's Q1 Revenue Down 5 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the market close on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenues fell 5 percent on lower life science products sales and the negative effect of foreign currency translation.

The firm reported total revenues of $400.9 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to revenues of $422.2 million for the first quarter of 2008. The company said that excluding foreign currency effects, its revenues increased around 3 percent year over year.

Bio-Rad's life science products business had revenues of $140.3 million, down 9 percent year over year, or 3 percent on a constant currency basis. Sales of its diagnostic products were $257.5 million, down 2 percent, but up 7 percent on a constant currency basis.

Bio-Rad said that the life science segment was negatively affected by "a general slowness in the research market in the US and Europe."

The firm posted a profit of $30.3 million, or $1.10 per share, up from $26.5 million, or $.96 per share, for the first quarter of 2008.

Its R&D costs were nearly flat with the year before at $37.2 million versus $37.5 million, while its SG&A spending increased less than 1 percent to $140.3 million from $139.7 million.

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $192.9 million in cash and cash equivalents and $30 million in short-term investments.

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