Irvine's VLI Corp. Reports Its First Profitable Quarter

VLI Corp., maker of the Today contraceptive sponge, reported its first profitable quarter ever, posting net earnings of $217,192 for the first quarter ended March 30, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $750,499.

Most of the earnings, however, came from interest earned on cash deposits, with only $79,162 in net operating earnings from sales of VLI products. The Irvine-based company manufactures a personal lubricant and an in-home pregnancy test in addition to the contraceptive sponge.

Total sales for the quarter were $5.1 million, 24% higher than the $4.1 million reported for the first quarter of 1986.

Robert A. Elliott, VLI's president, attributed the increased sales and small operating profit to VLI's introduction of a pregnancy test kit three months ago. Profit margins on the kits are "comparable" to those of the Today sponge, which was introduced in 1983, said Thomas J. Berryman, chief financial officer. VLI claims the contraceptive sponge now accounts for 26.5% of the female market for over-the-counter contraceptives.

The 12-year-old company is "cautiously optimistic" about profitability in 1987, Elliott said, and is on schedule with its plans to market an ovulation predictor kit and a line of Today condoms in the third quarter.

VLI also is conducting clinical tests to eventually market sponges to treat vaginal infections. It hopes to file a new drug application with the FDA by early 1988 and to market the sponges in 1989, said Berryman.

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