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Chris Diorio, CEO of Impinj, at the 2018 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Seattle-based RFID company Impinj, whose technology is heavily used by retailers to track inventory, posted a record $47.8 million in revenue for the first quarter, up nearly 45 percent, even as the COVID-19 crisis closed stores around the world and disrupted the company’s supply chain.

One reason for the revenue increase: efforts by some Impinj customers to secure a larger supply of the company’s products in a period of uncertainty. That rush, toward the end of March, was responsible for $6.2 million in unanticipated shipments, the company told analysts and investors on a conference call.

Impinj declined to give its normal guidance for the current quarter, citing “unprecedented economic upheaval” from the COVID-19 crisis, but acknowledged that the fallout from the pandemic will impact its profitability in the near term, and said it will keep a close eye on discretionary spending.

“COVID-19 has negatively affected our supply chain, channel partners and end users, and the coming months portend no less uncertainty,” said Chris Diorio, Impinj CEO and co-founder, addressing analysts and investors on a conference call.

“However,” he added, “while the prevailing sentiment is negative, particularly in retail, aviation and automotive, there are bright spots as well, such as in omnichannel retail and supply chain and logistics.”

One of those bright spots is the use of Impinj’s RAIN RFID technology by retailers to more easily fulfill online orders by matching them with products in their supply chain. “We likewise expect leading supply chain and logistics providers, with demand surging and needing to improve package tracking and operational efficiencies, to advance RAIN adoption,” Diorio said.

For the March quarter, the company posted a net loss of $4.3 million, an improvement over its net loss of more than $7 million a year earlier.

Impinj ended March with $83.7 million in cash and equivalents, up from $67.9 million at the end of December.

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