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Imatron posts loss on higher revenues

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Ultrafast CT developer Imatron of South San Francisco, CA, enjoyed sharply higher revenues in 1997 (end-December), but the company still posted an $11.4 million loss for the year due to expenses. For the year, Imatron reported sales of $39.4 million, an

Ultrafast CT developer Imatron of South San Francisco, CA, enjoyed sharply higher revenues in 1997 (end-December), but the company still posted an $11.4 million loss for the year due to expenses. For the year, Imatron reported sales of $39.4 million, an increase of 58% over 1996 sales of $25.8 million. The company's net loss in 1996 was $13.7 million.

Imatron reported that its higher scanner sales are the result of increased worldwide demand for its technology, which the company claimed is becoming recognized as an effective way of noninvasively measuring an individual's risk of heart attack. The company was affected by currency turmoil in Asia in the fourth quarter, however, and as a result experienced delays and even some cancellations of orders to Asian customers.

Imatron was also affected by ongoing losses at its HeartScan subsidiary, which provides coronary artery scanning directly to the public. While patient volume improved at four centers, Imatron said it is looking for a joint-venture partner or acquirer for HeartScan.

Imatron also reported that it took over direct sales of its scanners from Siemens Medical Systems on April 1, and the company has built a direct sales force in the U.S. and Canada. Imatron recorded this month its first order since reacquiring distribution rights by selling a scanner to Advanced Imaging Center in Schereville, IN.

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