Icon books record earnings for Q2 as business wins soar

Irish CRO Icon ($ICLR) made a strong showing in the second quarter as revenue and bookings jumped for the company.

The Dublin-headquartered CRO said gross business wins in the second quarter were a record $622 million.

When this was lowered by cancellations in the quarter, which took off $120 million, it still posted a record net business wins of $502 million--a net book-to-bill of 1.22.

The company’s CFO Brendan Brennan said in a webcast about its earnings that the main driver of the cancellations was from a termination of a single, large oncology trial a due to safety and efficacy concerns. Further details were not shared.

He noted that the $120 million cancellations fee was higher than previous quarters, but still within its historic range.

Net revenue for the past three months grew 5.7% year-on-year to $410.6 million with income from operations jumping 14.5% to $78 million. For the half, sales for 2016 increased by 4.4% to $811.2 million.

Guidance for the full year has been updated with earnings reaffirmed in the range of $4.60 - $4.80 and revenue revised to a range of $1.66 billion to $1.68 billion.

The company said it had also added around 100 new staff in the quarter.

CEO Ciaran Murray said: “Through a consistent focus on our strategic plan we achieved a record level of net business awards of $502 million and grew our backlog by almost 9% over last year.

“We delivered record revenue of $411 million and grew earnings per share by 20% to $1.14. We are reaffirming our 2016 earnings guidance to be in the range of $4.60 to $4.80.”

This follows on from its strong 2015 full-year showing, that saw its revenue jumping by 10% at CER, reaching $1.57 billion.

The CRO has also been busy racking up the deals, including a recent tie-up with Genomics England and IBM Watson ($IBM), as well as the takeover of MediMedia Pharma Solutions and the buyout of PMG Research.

The CRO closed up 4.4% after releasing its results yesterday.

- listen to Icon’s recorded Q2 webcast
- see the CRO’s Q2 statement

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