* Q1 rev C$12.5 mln vs est C$16.94 mln
* Says continues to see strong year of growth
May 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s IMRIS Inc IM.TO posted a surprise quarterly loss partly hurt by higher expenses, but said it sees a strong year of growth with conversion of backlog into revenues at a higher rate than historical trends.
“Annual EBITDA and net income in 2010 are expected to increase over 2009 levels,” the company, which makes magnetic resonance imaging systems, said in a statement.
For the first quarter ended march 31, IMRIS posted net loss of C$2 million, or 6 Canadian cents a share, compared with net loss of C$3.6 million, or 13 Canadian cents a year ago.
Revenue for the quarter more than doubled to C$12.5 million.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of one Canadian cent a share on revenue of C$16.94 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating expenses increased 19 percent to C$6.9 million, primarily due to higher staffing levels and higher amortization costs, the company said.
IMRIS also said it continues to have a large backlog of confirmed equipment sales and service contracts.
On March 31, the unrecognized portion of the revenues anticipated to be recorded from confirmed system orders was C$80.4 million and the unrecognized portion of the revenues anticipated to be recorded from executed service contracts was C$24 million, IMRIS added.
Shares of the company were trading down 4 percent at C$6.12 Monday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)