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Packard Q4 Revenues up 7 Percent

NEW YORK, Feb 8 - Packard BioScience said Thursday its fourth quarter revenues increased 7 percent to $49.9 million, as sales of instruments, chemicals, and supplies helped to offset a drop in service revenues.

The Meriden, Conn.-based company said that foreign currency fluctuations also weighed on revenues.

“Revenues would have increased by 13 in total, or $6.2 million, had exchange rates remained constant for the period,” Packard said in a statement.

The company said it anticipated the drop in service revenues booked in the fourth quarter, since the big increase in fourth-quarter 1999 service revenues was the result of the one-off Y2K event.

Sales of automated liquid handling and sample preparation equipment were up 46 percent to $16.9 million, while the company’s new BioChip instrument division accounted for $2.8 million of the revenue increase in the fourth quarter. Packard did not disclose the amount of revenues the BioChip division posted.

Sales of the company’s legacy products continued to drop, decreasing $1.9 million, or 14 percent.

For the full year revenues totaled $165.4 million, compared with $158.9 in 1999.

At the end of December, the company’s backlog exceeded $28 million and it had orders for more than 50 of its multimode microplate readers, the Fusion systems. Packard said it also received a 100-unit order for its microarray scanners from a customer in China.

The company said it expects revenues to grow by more than 15 percent in 2001.

Packard reiterated that the company has adopted a “more focused” microarray strategy that would entail concentrating on protein arrays and noted a $1.9 million charge to write off certain assets that are not part of this strategy.

Fourth-quarter net income on an adjusted basis was $3.8 million, or two cents a share, compared with $2.6 million, or three cents a share, in the year ago period, on an adjusted basis. For the year, the company's adjusted earnings per fully-diluted share decreased from one penny in 1999 to breakeven in 2000.

The results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2000 reflect the discontinued operations of Canberra Industries. The company has signed a deal to sell Canberra for $170 million and expects the deal to close in the first quarter. The results of the life sciences division Packard purchased from GSI Lumonics have been included since October 1.

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