Quintiles scales back its 2015 projections after a mixed quarter

Quintiles' ($Q) banner business came up short in the first quarter, as currency fluctuations bit into revenue and led the world's largest CRO to dial down its full-year guidance.

Quintiles CEO Tom Pike

The company's service revenue came in at just above $1 billion on the quarter, good for 2.5% growth over the same period last year. But product development, Quintiles' largest segment, slipped 2.8% to $749.5 million, a decline due in part to $36.2 million lost to unfavorable currency exchange but also to a decrease in advisory services and a jump in cancelations, the company said. Integrated healthcare services, Quintiles' consulting-driven segment, grew 19.6% to $280.5 million.

But things are looking up moving forward, the company said. Net new business grew 5.6% to $1.4 billion on the quarter, charting a book-to-bill ratio of 1.31. And that should pick things up over the next three quarters, Quintiles figures.

"As expected, our product development segment started the year slower; however, we believe this segment will accelerate in the second half of the year on the back of our more than $11 billion industry-leading backlog," CEO Tom Pike said in a statement.

Still, Quintiles is reducing its full-year guidance from between 7.5% and 9% growth over 2014 to a range of 7% to 8%, shooting for about $4.5 billion in 2015 service revenue.

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