Icon’s operating profits have dropped by almost half since last year as a result of a $5.6m payout related to restructuring costs.
In its Q2 results, the firm reported a drop from $13.8m in the same quarter 2011 to $7.96m this year, though without the one-off charge the figure would be $12.9m.
And though Icon’s sales were up 10 per cent in Q1 of this year , following expansions to take on more big clients like Pfizer, the current year to date income – without taking into account non-recurring charges – is down from $25.9m to $21.9m.
The news follows Outsourcing-Pharma.com’s interview with group president of clinical research services Steve Cutler in which he said Icon is changing the type of deal it will search for, favouring longer term partnerships over the “problematic” three-year deals it once opted for.
He told us it would allow for a more realistic time frame to fit with running late phase clinical trials, but that the move could be as much of a “threat” as an opportunity, because they could lose contracts all together.
So far the firm has issued no further comment as to why operating earnings are down.
Not all bad news
However net revenues for the quarter are on the up, with a 19 per cent boost compared with last year, no up to $277m.
The CRO (contract research organisation) beat analyst expectations, such as those from Thompson Reuters, by around $10m.
CEO Ciaran Murray was positive about the results, but nodded towards a ‘must do better’ in profits when he said: “I am pleased with our progress in Q2. We continue to book significant levels of new business and improve our profitability.”