PPD positive about 2011, plans further investments

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Contract research organisation Contract research organization

PPD has issued upbeat guidance for 2011 and says it is confident about the fundamentals of the contract research sector.

In a statement issued late yesterday the contract research organisation (CRO) said it expected profit in the $1.53 to $1,69 per share range, way above the $1.48 predicted in a Thomson Reuters survey, and revenue of $1.48bn to $1.58bn.

 

PPD also said that it will focus on expanding its contract services offering and plans to invest as much as $95m in technology, new laboratory equipment and facility expansions and improvements.

 

Executive chairman Fred Eshelman said: “Our strategic initiatives for 2011 are aimed at differentiating our global service offerings, restoring top line growth, and further improving our financial and operating performance

 

This was echoed by CEO David Grange who said: “We remain confident in the market fundamentals for CRO services,” ​adding that “we are positioned well to deliver solid financial results in 2011.

 

The financial forecast is in keeping with PPD’s most recently​ reported set of quarterly results, which saw both revenue and profit climb in the three months to September 30.

 

And, although the firm does not report its full-year results until early next month, the prediction may indicate that it had a good end to 2010 possible helped by its recent​ deal with UK drug major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

 

Differentiation

 

The focus on service differentiation also fits with various investments PPD has made over the last few months.

 

In March​, for example, the firm announced its intention to build its vaccines business, following this up in August​ with the opening of a new dedicated laboratory in the US that it subsequently​ announced plans to expand.

 

Since then PPD has set up new offices in Novosibirsk​, Russia and Beijing, China​, announced​ plans to invest in its lab services facility in Virginia, US and, just this month​, formed a MAb discovery joint-venture with Taijitu Biologics.

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