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Asian crisis hammers Imatron results

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Imatron suffered a 57% drop in revenues for its first quarter (end-March) due in part to the effects of the Asian economic crisis on new ultrafast CT scanner sales. For the period, the South San Francisco, CA, company reported revenues of $4.6 million,

Imatron suffered a 57% drop in revenues for its first quarter (end-March) due in part to the effects of the Asian economic crisis on new ultrafast CT scanner sales. For the period, the South San Francisco, CA, company reported revenues of $4.6 million, compared with $10.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Imatron recorded only $949,000 in product sales for the period, with the rest of its revenues coming from service, development contracts, and HeartScan clinic operations. Imatron said the transition of ultrafast CT product distribution rights from Siemens Medical Systems to Imatron, a move that became effective March 31, also hurt sales. The lower revenue helped contribute to a $5.2 million net loss for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $1.3 million in the first quarter of 1997.

Asia has been a strong market for Imatron’s ultrafast CT technology, and as a result the company was more exposed to the recent economic turmoil in that region than many other medical imaging vendors. Now that its agreement with Siemens has expired, Imatron has begun direct sales of its scanners in the U.S. and Europe, which should help the company reduce its reliance on the Asian market.

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