Charles River bucks trend with spike in preclinical sales

Despite ongoing slowness in the market for early-stage research, preclinical specialist Charles River Laboratories ($CRL) boosted its revenue and income in the third quarter, a credit to its continued cost cuts and gains in market share, the company said.

Revenue came in at $292.1 million on the quarter, 4.8% over the same period last year, and net income leapt about 40% to $31.2 million. For the full year, Charles River is expecting up to 3.5% revenue growth, good for as much as $1.2 billion. Just last year, annual sales slipped 1.1% to $1.1 billion, and the CRO's turnaround is a testament to its flexibility in a changing market, CEO James Foster said.

"The efforts we have made to improve our operating efficiency, to maintain and enhance scientific expertise, to effectively deploy sales resources and to broaden the portfolio through targeted acquisitions have successfully positioned Charles River as the partner of choice for early-stage drug development," Foster said in a statement.

Charles River's banner research models and services business grew 4.2% to $173.4 million on the quarter, driven by the CRO's acquisitions of Vital River and Accugenix. Preclinical services expanded sales by 5.8% to $118.7 million, which Charles River credits to an increase in demand from both large biopharma and mid-tier clients.

- read the results

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