Icon revenue down 10% in Q2, but green shoots appearing

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Icon has been hit hard by the disruptions from the global pandemic, and it’s starting to show up in the balance sheet.

The CRO, based in Ireland, said in its second-quarter financials that revenue was down 10.8% year over year to $620 million.

But while this figure is a tough negative for the biopharma services company, there are positives coming through: It saw a record closing backlog of $9.1 billion, an increase of 11% year on year, and its clinical trial work is picking back up.

“We are seeing improvements to site re-openings and patient recruitment and we expect results to improve sequentially during the second half of this year,” CEO Steve Cutler, Ph.D., said.

RELATED: Icon to slash costs amid pandemic as 65% of its trial sites disrupted by COVID-19

Things are also looking up since April, when Icon was forced to slash costs across leadership and employee pay as well as institute a freeze on hiring new people in certain business units, although this didn’t lead to staff cuts.

It also saw 65% of its global sites “impacted in some way by the pandemic,” though it is now finding ways around this.

“COVID-19 continues to affect our global business, and in particular our clinical business,” the company said. “However, sites are reopening and where this is not the case we seek to use alternative approaches including remote and risk based monitoring and ‘at home’ services delivered through our Symphony Clinical Research group. Patient recruitment challenges remain however there has been a gradual improvement in enrollment as restrictions ease.”

Icon's full-year 2020 revenue guidance is in the range of $2.65 billion to $2.75 billion. Its shares have ticked up since its update.