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BATM Advanced Communications (BVC:126p), a provider of medical laboratory systems, diagnostic kits, cyber security and network solutions, has issued bumper first half results, upgraded full-year earnings expectations for the second time in as many months, and issued a bullish trading outlook. Moreover, with a bumper net cash pile of US$39m buoyed by first half operating cash inflow of US$4.4m, the board now expects to reinstate its dividend policy.

First half revenue soared by more than a third to US$77.4m driven by BATM’s bio-medical division, which reported operating profit of US$4.2m on revenue up two-thirds to US$50m. BATM is a major winner from the Covid-19 pandemic, having acted quickly to launch a new diagnostics antigen molecular test kit to detect Covid-19 and a lab serological test kit that diagnoses if a patient has had Covid-19 by detecting antibodies in their blood. BATM has already shipped several hundred thousand test kits, has a backlog of more than 1m orders and is enjoying robust demand for its instrument readers. In partnership with Israeli life sciences company Novamed, BATM is also developing a rapid Covid-19 diagnostics antigen test kit for home use (results within minutes from a sputum sample test) which will be available for sale next month.  

In addition, BATM has just launched a new molecular diagnostics test kit that can identify in less than one hour the cause (pathogen) of a respiratory illness, enabling the correct treatment or action to be rapidly implemented. It can detect all prominent respiratory viruses as well as the bacteria that cause serious pulmonary illnesses and a secondary infection of Covid-19, such as pneumonia and Legionnaires' disease. The ability to identify the cause of a disease is important ahead of the coming winter when seasonal colds and flu could appear alongside Covid-19 meaning that patients will present with similar symptoms.

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