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Meridian Bioscience Added to Mergent's Dividend Achievers Index

March 18, 2004 at 12:03 PM EST

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 18, 2004--Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced that it has been added to Mergent's Dividend Achievers Index(TM) for 2004. This index is made up of 303 stocks composed of U.S. companies with the most consistent records of annual dividend increases.

Quoting from Mergent's press release "Dividend Achievers(TM) are publicly listed U.S. companies that have increased regular dividends for the past 10 consecutive years or longer, and that meet certain other financial criteria. These are typically companies with strong cash reserves and a proven record of solid earnings growth. As such, Dividend Achievers are worthy of significant consideration by investors seeking to invest in stocks with long-term performance potential."

William J. Motto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very pleased to have been added to the Mergent's Dividend Achievers Index(TM). Our long-standing cash dividend policy has served shareholders well with eleven increases during the past thirteen years. Our current indicated annual cash dividend rate is $0.40 per share. With our strong cash flow from operations, we are able to internally fund the company's growth and concurrently payout between 75% and 85% of our net earnings in cash dividends to shareholders."

Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic test kits, purified reagents and related products and offers biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. Utilizing a variety of methods, these products provide accuracy, simplicity and speed in the early diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal, viral, urinary and respiratory infections. All Meridian diagnostic products are used outside of the human body and require little or no special equipment. The Company's products are designed to enhance patient well-being while reducing the total outcome costs of healthcare. Meridian has strong market positions in the areas of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections, serology, parasitology and fungal disease diagnosis. In addition, Meridian is a supplier of rare reagents and specialty biologicals along with proteins and other biologicals used by biopharmaceutical companies engaged in research for new drugs and vaccines. The Company markets its products to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, veterinary testing centers, physician offices and diagnostics manufacturers in more than 60 countries around the world. The Company's shares are traded through Nasdaq's National Market, symbol VIVO. Meridian's website address is www.meridianbioscience.com.

CONTACT: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
John A. Kraeutler, 513-271-3700

SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.