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BioMérieux Reports 21 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

NEW YORK – BioMérieux reported Wednesday that its fourth quarter revenues rose 21 percent year over year.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, BioMérieux reported revenues of €852.6 million ($908.2 million), up 14 percent on a reported basis, or 21 percent at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation, from €746.8 million in the prior-year period.

"Our positioning as an in vitro diagnostics specialist and our development of solutions adapted to the detection of COVID-19 has allowed us to deliver a remarkable commercial and financial performance," Alexandre Mérieux, the firm's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Clinical applications revenues rose 17 percent on a reported basis to €726.3 million from €619.0 million in Q4 2019.

Within the clinical applications segment, molecular biology revenues increased 71 percent to €332.0 million from €193.9 million in the prior-year period. The BioFire FilmArray product line grew 76 percent in the quarter driven by the installation of nearly 1,400 new FilmArray instruments, bringing the total FilmArray installed base to approximately 17,300 units globally.

Also within clinical applications, immunoassays contributed €121.9 million in revenues, down 5 percent from €128.5 million in Q4 2018, impacted by a decline in instrument sales. Microbiology sales declined 11 percent to €254.1 million from €286.0 million in Q4 2019, driven by a decline in equipment sales other than its BACT/ALERT blood culture reagents and culture media.

Industrial applications revenues in Q4 were down 1 percent to €126.4 million from €127.8 million in Q4 2019, but the firm noted robust sales of equipment and services across all product lines.

In the quarter, the firm launched the CE marked SARS-COV-2 RESPI R-GENE multiplex test for the simultaneous detection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza viruses A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, and human metapneumovirus. The firm also expanded the CE marking of its ARGENE SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test to include saliva specimens

For full-year 2020, BioMérieux reported that total revenues rose to €3.19 billion from €2.67 billion in 2018, up 17 percent on a reported basis or 20 percent on an organic basis.

Revenues from clinical applications, which include microbiology, immunoassay, and molecular biology, were €2.66 billion, up 21 percent from €2.21 billion in 2019.

Microbiology revenues declined 7 percent to €950.7 million from €1.03 billion in 2019, while immunoassay revenues fell 10 percent to €428.3 million from €474.5 million in 2019.

Molecular biology revenues, meanwhile, jumped 80 percent to €1.21 billion from €671.5 million in 2019. Revenues from industrial applications were €454.7 million, down 3 percent from €466.7 million in the prior year.

For full-year 2020 the company reported a 5 percent increase in SG&A expenses to €789.3 million from €749.8 million. The firm's R&D spending also increased 7 percent to €398.8 million from €374.3 million, reflecting the faster pace of development in a commitment to bringing COVID-19 diagnostics to market as quickly as possible.

Other operating milestones in 2020 included the CE marking for the BioFire Respiratory 2.1 plus Panel with SARS-CoV-2 and the launch of BioFire Mycoplasma, both in July, and the US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization of the BioFire Respiratory Panel 2.1 and 2.1-EZ with SARS-CoV-2.

For 2021, BioMérieux is targeting organic sales growth between 5 percent and 8 percent at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation. Growth in the first half of 2021 should remain steady, on par with the trend of Q4 2020. In light of this organic growth target, BioMérieux should deliver contributive operating income before non-recurring items on par with 2020.