WuXi's revenue jumps 11.7% in strong Q1

WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX), China's largest CRO, has big expectations for 2013, and the company is well on its way to following through, posting an 11.7% revenue jump in the first quarter.

Laboratory services revenue grew 12.5% while manufacturing sales increased 9.6% on the quarter, adding to a total $131.9 million in net revenues, above the $118 million WuXi grossed in the same period last year. The company scaled up its R&D and administrative spending by about 14.8% on the quarter, but still reported net income of $21.7 million, good for 3.4% growth.

In-China operations remain WuXi's largest revenue driver, accounting for about 83% of Q1 sales, but the CRO's U.S.-based lab services business has charted steady growth over the last year and increased 3.8% last quarter to $23 million.

The CRO is sticking to its previously announced annual projections, expecting revenues as high as $575 million, up to 15% year-over-year growth.

"WuXi is succeeding on several fronts at once," CEO Ge Li said in a statement. "We are achieving double-digit, broad-based revenue growth, while effectively improving operating efficiency and controlling our costs to maintain stable margins. We are investing in capabilities and capacity to sustain strong revenue and earnings growth for years to come."

Over the past year, WuXi has expanded its capacity in China and around the world, investing heavily in biologics and recruiting big-name partners like AstraZeneca ($AZN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX), PRA and MedImmune. WuXi believes its combination of capabilities and expertise makes it an ideal partner for Western drugmakers looking for inroads into China, which some analysts project to become the largest in the world by 2020.

- read WuXi's full results

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