Medical isotope maker Nordion's loss narrows

Tue Mar 5, 2013 6:24pm EST
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March 5 (Reuters) - Nordion Inc , a major provider of isotopes used in medical imaging, reported a smaller quarterly loss due to a gain related to the recovery of income taxes.

The company posted a loss of $269,000, or break-even on a per share basis, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $887,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Income tax recovery for the quarter was $4.98 million, compared with $218,000 a year earlier.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $53.7 million.

The company, which has hired advisers to examine options for its future, earned 7 cents per share on an adjusted basis.

"No decision has been made to enter into any specific strategic transaction or any other strategic alternative at this time," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nordion had suspended its dividend in September after an arbitration panel rejected its claim for damages from its main supplier, state-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), putting one of its core businesses in jeopardy.

Nordion is one of the world's leading producers of molybdenum-99, used in medical imaging, and it depends on raw material from AECL's aging facility in Chalk River, Ontario.

The facility in Chalk River is also Canada's only current source of medical isotopes, and the problem-plagued reactor is licensed to run until 2016.

The Canadian government said last week it expects to be able to make enough medical isotopes through non-nuclear methods by 2016 to replace those now produced by the Chalk River facility.

Shares of Ottawa-based Nordion closed at C$6.95 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.