Delayed orders push Clinical Computing into interim losses: Confidence rises as product range expands

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The Independent Online
DELAYED orders for medical software have pushed Clinical Computing, the stock market newcomer, into unexpected losses at the interim stage.

The company's shares closed 10p lower at 90p after falling initially to 68p. Market-makers had ceased quoting firm prices for a short period before the results were announced.

Clinical made a pre-tax loss of pounds 227,000 on sales of pounds 735,000 in the six months to 30 June, compared with profits of pounds 446,000 on turnover of pounds 1.2m in the first half of 1993. Jeremy Woan, chief executive, said: 'We had hoped new work would come through sooner, but we are now generating heartening sales leads.'

As with other recent software flotations, institutional investors were disappointed that there had been no indication of potential difficulties at the time of the placing. Clinical floated in February at a price of 124p.

Mr Woan said investment in a distribution network in the US, product development and internal restructuring had taken place faster than anticipated. A graphical Windows version of Proton, its software package for dialysis units, is to be launched next month.

Clinical has reached a distribution agreement with Fresenius, a US supplier of dialysis machinery, and was on the point of making a similar agreement with Baxter Healthcare. Discussions were taking place on upgrading big Proton contracts in the US that had expired during the first half.

British sales are made direct to hospitals, and Mr Woan said rapid changes in the National Health Service had delayed contracts.

He added: 'An expansion of the product range will in future reduce our dependence on specific sales prospects, and we thus view the future with confidence.'

The loss per share was 1.4p compared with a profit of 3.7p. There is no dividend.

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