After a $300M IPO, PRA forecasts a big 2015

PRA CEO Colin Shannon

PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH), the latest CRO to go public, is expecting up to 10% revenue growth in 2015, hoping to top a transformational year that reshaped its business.

In 2014, the CRO banked about $1.3 billion in revenue, representing 52% growth over the prior year. PRA closed the period with a strong fourth quarter, growing sales 8% to $323.8 million and bringing in $388.4 million in net new business, giving the CRO a $2.1 billion backlog entering 2015. PRA also reduced its net losses on the year, from $88.3 million in 2013 to $35.7 million.

Now, heading into the new year, the company expects annual revenue to come in at around $1.4 billion, good for up to 10.6% growth.

Today's PRA came to be thanks to KKR, which won a bidding war and picked up the CRO for $1.3 billion in 2013. A few months later, KKR paid an undisclosed sum for ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and merged its two acquisitions. By year's end, the company had acquired CRI Lifetree to bolster its piecemeal CRO's early-stage capabilities, completing a buy-and-merge plan that created what it said is the world's fourth largest pharma contractor.

The company pulled off a $306 million IPO in November, and PRA is now looking to expand its share of the market for clinical trials, working to keep up the momentum, CEO Colin Shannon said.

"We remain focused on areas that will differentiate our services to our clients by continuing to strengthen our therapeutic expertise and enhance our medical informatics, as well as developing new capabilities that will allow us to provide broad and flexible services to our clients," Shannon said in a statement.

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