Icon shares slip despite 14% profit increase

Icon shares slipped by over 7% at one point yesterday even on the back of the Dublin-headquartered pharmaceutical and healthcare services firm reporting a 14% rise in first quarter operating profit and a 3.2% revenue increase.

The Nasdaq-quoted clinical trial and drug development firm — which employs 12,200 worldwide and more than 1,000 here across its Leopardstown headquarters and a Limerick office — yesterday reported revenues of $400.5 million (€353.5m) for the first three months of this year.

Operating profit was up from $66.7m to $76m, on a year-on-year basis and net profit rose by 12.7% on an annualised basis to $63m.

Ciarán Murray, Icon’s chief executive, said the first quarter represented “a solid start” to 2016 for the group.

“We have grown our backlog of business to close to $4bn, 9% higher than the same quarter last year.

"Revenue grew by 4.9% year-on-year, on a constant currency basis, and further margin expansion enabled us to deliver earnings per share of $1.12, a 24% increase over last year,” he added.

Cash generated from operating activities stood at $59.4m at the end of the first quarter. Capital expenditure, for the three months, amounted to $7.7m.

As a result, Icon ended the quarter with net debt of $100m, down from $158m as of the end of last December; and net cash of $172m at the end of March 2015.

During the quarter, Icon was selected by Genomics England to support the world’s largest genome sequencing project for cancer and rare diseases. The project aims to create a new genomic medicine service for the NHS.


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