|WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li|
WuXi PharmaTech ($WX), China's largest CRO, is counting on the burgeoning drug development market in its home country to deliver a big 2013, stretching its annual revenue guidance after another quarterly boost.
The CRO pulled in $142.3 million in revenue last quarter, a 9.2% increase over the same period last year, and net income leapt 44.6% to $29.6 million. WuXi's lab services business grew 13.2% to $105.9 million on the quarter, offsetting a 1.1% decline in manufacturing sales, which came in at $36.4 million.
Now WuXi is scaling up its full-year revenue expectation by up to $13 million, planning for roughly 16% annual growth and as much as $578 million in 2013.
Driving that optimism is WuXi's recent dive into biologics, CEO Ge Li said. The CRO opened China's first U.S. GMP-friendly biologics facility back in November, and Li said the new plant is already contributing to revenue. Furthermore, the CRO is pushing forward on a joint venture with PRA, last month recruiting former Theorem Clinical Research CEO James Pusey to helm the China-focused collaboration.
"WuXi is also effectively controlling its costs through continuous operational improvements, increased productivity and implementation of a company-wide Lean Sigma program," Li said in a statement. "We are investing in capabilities and capacity to sustain long-term revenue and earnings growth."
The company plans to spend about $60 million in capital expenditures on the year, Li said, following its long-term efforts to expand its presence in China and around the world. WuXi's efforts have helped it recruit big-name partners like AstraZeneca ($AZN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX), Ambrx and MedImmune, and the CRO believes its expertise and footprint make it an ideal partner for Western drugmakers looking for inroads into China.
- read WuXi's results