Portland-based ImmuCell Corp. increased its revenue in 2017, but product development costs resulted in a small net loss after the company had a profitable year in 2016, according to preliminary financial results issued Thursday.

ImmuCell, which develops and produces bovine health products for the beef and dairy industries, had $10.4 million in sales revenue in 2017, a 9 percent increase from the $9.5 million in sales the previous year, the company said.

ImmuCell had a net loss in 2017 of $168,000, or 3 cents per share, compared with net income of $508,000, or 12 cents per share, in 2016, it said.

Product development costs contributed to the net loss in 2017, the company said. ImmuCell spent over $2 million on product development in 2017, compared with about $1.2 million the previous year.

In 2017, ImmuCell brought a new product to market called First Defense Tri-Shield, which boosts immunity to three major causes of diarrhea, or scours, in newborn calves. It also completed construction of a $20 million production facility for another product that is designed to treat mastitis, or inflammation of the udders, in dairy cows.

“We are moving forward into 2018 building on the solid top-line growth achieved in 2017 and an expanded product line with the November 2017 introduction of First Defense Tri-Shield,” ImmuCell President and CEO Michael Brigham said in a news release. “Costs associated with the initial production batches were higher and production output was lower than we expect once the new product is in full production mode. These are pretty typical challenges, as we scale up the production process and learn about customer demand during a new product launch.”

ImmuCell, one of only three non-bank, publicly held companies in Maine, trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol ICCC. Its share price fell 3 cents in trading Thursday to end the day at $7.10.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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