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BioMérieux Reports 10 Percent Q1 Revenue Growth, Lowers Full-Year Guidance

NEW YORK – BioMérieux said on Tuesday that its first quarter 2021 revenues grew approximately 10 percent year over year. The firm also lowered its full-year sales guidance due to uncertainties in the business environment.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, the Marcy l'Étoile, France-based in vitro diagnostics firm reported sales of €844.6 million ($1.02 billion) compared to €768.8 million a year ago. Organic growth at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation was about 17 percent, BioMérieux said.

Clinical applications revenues, which accounted for about 85 percent of total sales, grew 10 percent to €721.8 million from €655.8 million in the year-ago period.

Within clinical applications, molecular biology increased 11 percent to €324.5 million from €293.2, while microbiology sales declined 2 percent to €247.4 million from €251.6 million. Meanwhile, immunoassay revenues jumped 22 percent to €120.2 million from €98.8 million, and other clinical applications sales more than doubled to €29.7 million from €12.2 million.

Within molecular biology, BioFire FilmArray products grew 19 percent year over year led by the firm's respiratory panels, with "very strong gains" in other panels as well. "Nevertheless, demand for respiratory panels shifted quickly during the period, slowing significantly in the US by the end of March," BioMérieux said.

Molecular biology growth included the placement of more than 2,200 BioFire systems in the quarter, bringing the total worldwide installed base to more than 19,500 units, compared with 11,900 units in the prior-year quarter.

Molecular biology growth also included double-digit growth in the quarter for DNA/RNA extraction instruments and reagents and Argene PCR assays, the firm said.

In the microbiology business unit, a 3 percent improvement in sales was led by a "high double-digit increase" in instrument sales, the firm said.

Immunoassays showed "remarkable performance" in the first quarter, up 28 percent at constant exchange rates. BioMérieux attributed the growth to SARS-CoV-2 serology tests as well as an upturn in routine assay sales with sustained equipment installations.

BioMérieux's Q1 industrial applications revenues grew about 9 percent on a reported basis to €122.8 million from €113.0 million driven by instrument sales in the food and healthcare testing segments.

In the quarter, BioMérieux launched a fully automated interferon-gamma release assay to diagnose latent tuberculosis on the Vidas immunoassay system, called TB-IGRA, as well as three Vidas assays to detect strains of Dengue virus. BioMérieux subsidiary BioFire Diagnostics was also granted de novo clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Respiratory Panel 2.1 in the quarter.

The company lowered its 2021 first-half and full-year guidance, in part due to an improved pandemic situation in the US leading to reduced demand for BioFire respiratory panels.

"The health situation is still evolving and giving rise to very unpredictable trends prompting us to update our outlook," said Alexandre Mérieux, chairman and CEO of BioMérieux. "Nevertheless, we are confident in our strategy focus on infectious diseases through diverse applications and a broad geographic footprint," Mérieux added.

In its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 revenues reporting, BioMérieux had guided for steady growth in the first half of 2021 on par with Q4's 21 percent increase and full-year organic sales growth between 5 percent and 8 percent at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation.

First-half sales are now expected to grow at around 10 percent at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation, the firm said, while full-year sales are now expected to grow organically at neutral to mid-single digit rate.

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