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Drew Scientific warns of expected first-half loss

SHARES in Drew Scientific fell almost 10 per cent before rebounding after the newly floated bioscience company warned that it would face a pre-tax loss of about pounds 850,000 halfway, writes Russell Hotten.

The company, whose listing last May was accompanied by bullish comments about rapid growth, discovered reliability problems over a bought-in component for its medical testing equipment.

Drew said the problem had been rectified and shipment of the instruments had been resumed. Legal action for compensation from the American supplier was being considered.

The company, which at the time of the flotation had expected to post an interim profit in December, would now report a loss of about pounds 850,000, Drew said. The company admitted that there had been disappointments since the flotation, but believed that 'the group's potential for rapid growth from 1994 onwards remains strong.'

The shares initially fell 7p to 73p before regaining the loss, probably because the City's initial concern was mellowed by news that Drew had received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its G15 testing equipment.

Clearance in Japan is expected by the end of the year.