Business Irish

Sunday 20 August 2017

Trinity Biotech gives bonuses despite slump

Trinity Biotech has facilities in Bray, Co Wicklow, where it employs 165 people. Stock image
Trinity Biotech has facilities in Bray, Co Wicklow, where it employs 165 people. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The chief executive of Irish medical devices firm Trinity Biotech, Ronan O'Caoimh, got a $127,000 (€116,000) bonus last year on top of his $661,000 salary. That is despite the company's shares slumping more than 50pc in one day last year after the company was forced to withdraw an application in the US seeking approval for a product aimed at detecting heart attacks.

Six months later, the shares have still not recovered despite a share buyback programme.

In October, Trinity Biotech said it was writing off $50m (€45.7m) that was related to the so-called Troponin I test, as a non-cash charge.

The company also withdrew an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for a device used in conjunction with the test, the Meritas Point-of-Care Analyser. Total impairment charges at the company last year actually totalled $105.8m (96.8m), with $66.3m of that related to the Meritas device.

The company announced the closure of its facility in Sweden where assays for the device were being developed, with the loss of about 40 jobs.

The company also has facilities in Bray, Co Wicklow, where it employs 165 people.

Shares in Trinity Biotech tumbled from $12.99 to $6.46 on the day the news was released last October, and hit a low that day of $5.76. Management then brought forward the date for the release of its results at the time in order to enable it to pursue a share buyback.

It paid a total of $9.9m last year to buy back shares, at an average price of $8.95.

Yesterday, its shares were trading at $5.74.

Irish Independent

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