Revenue up 15% at research firm

Clinical research company Icon has reported a near 15% increase in first-half revenue to $529m (€437m).

However, despite a recovery in the second quarter of the year, net revenue for the six months to the end of June was down on a year-on-year basis by over 18%, from $25.9m to $21.9m.

The Dublin-based company — which acts as a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices sectors — generated net revenue of $277m in the second quarter of the year, an increase of 19% on the same period last year.

Operating income for the quarter was up from $15.5m to $16.6m on an annualised basis.

The good second quarter figures follow a strong first three months to the year, which saw revenues rise 10% year-on-year, but also experienced a slight dip in both net income and earnings per share. Revenue increases since the turn of the year have been attributed to new business wins and contributions from recent investments.

Net new business wins were valued at $373m for the second quarter.

Icon chief executive Ciaran Murray hailed the progress made in the last quarter. “We continue to book significant levels of new business and improve our profitability,” he said.

Market reaction was also positive. Davy Stockbrokers’ Jack Gorman noted: “Book-to-bills in recent quarters suggest that the 2012 revenue estimates can be met or exceeded, and this momentum needs to continue in coming quarters so that confidence builds for further recovery in 2013. This will, in turn, contribute to the strong forecasted earnings per share recovery.”

Earnings per share for the second quarter amounted to 21c

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