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Sonic racks up one million Aust virus jabs

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Medical laboratory company Sonic Healthcare has emphasised its role in backing the fight against coronavirus after delivering more than one million COVID-19 jabs.

The Australian vaccinations were given through government-run hubs and its network of more than 200 medical centres across the country.

Sonic, one of Australia's largest diagnostic companies, also conducted tens of thousands of COVID-19 tests and other related services.

Its base business is general laboratory services, pathology and radiology services.

For the first four months of the 2021/22 financial year, Sonic reported underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $991 million, up 16 per cent.

Revenue rose five per cent to just over $3 billion, Sonic said on Thursday, on the back of "substantial volumes" of COVID-19 tests.

Despite the good results, Sonic said it was too early to provide earnings guidance for the full year.

"The pandemic continues to cause fluctuations in both COVID-19 testing revenues and to a lesser extent the base business," Sonic said.

Sonic is holding its annual general meeting for shareholders on Thursday.

Chairman Mark Compton told the meeting that 2020/21 was an outstanding year for the company.

"Sonic and its amazing people answered the call to battle the COVID-19 pandemic by working with governments and other organisations in myriad ways," Professor Compton said.

Its strong performance allowed it to pay down more than $1 billion in debt, leaving Sonic in its best gearing position in 20 years.

Sonic shares closed on Wednesday at $38.58 each.

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