- Paris-based diagnostics group Novacyt swung to a full-year profit on the back of bumper sales of Covid-19 tests.

Net profit for the year through December amounted to £132.4 million, swinging from a year-on-year loss of £5.7 million.

Revenue jumped by more than 20 times to £277.2 million, up from £11.5 million in 2019, after the company launched 10 products to support laboratories and clinicians testing for Covid-19.

In a strategy update, Novacyt said it would expand its Covid-19 test menu to include new virus variants, and post-Covid-19 testing addressing unmet needs, such as pathogens resistant to antimicrobials.

The company also was planning a geographic expansion in the UK, US, Germany and other European markets.

For the five months through May 2021, it had notched sales of £88.4 million, up from £40.8 million year-on-year, including £40.7 million of sales to the UK's Department of Health and Social Care.

Excluding those government sales, it saw a run-rate of over £10 million in sales per month in the first quarter, which declined to around £7 million per month in April and May as infection rates eased.

'Looking forward, the company expects strong growth in private testing as markets and travel re-open, which could lead to higher infection rates, and an increase in testing to return in the fourth quarter of 2021, in line with 2020, during the winter period.'

'The company also expects to see significant new growth from the launch of new products during the second half of 2021, including an expansion of its lateral flow antigen testing portfolio for both professional and home use.'

'If demand picks up in line with expectations, the company expects to see full-year sales of approximately £100 million, excluding the sales to the DHSC which are in dispute.'

Gross margin in the first five months of 2021 was over 70% with an operating margin of over 40%, excluding the impact of sales to the DHSC.

'The directors are confident the company can maintain these levels of underlying profitability for the balance of the year if volumes are in-line with its current expectations,' Novacyt said.

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