Contract sales unit drives PDI in Q4, offsetting marketing biz decline

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Marketing

Commercial services provider PDI reported that growth of its contract pharmaceutical sales business was key to its fourth-quarter gains.

Total revenue for the period soared 93 per cent to $44.7m with an increase in contract sales turnover, up 97 per cent to $41.4m, offsetting a10.8 per cent drop, to $3.3m, in the contribution from its marketing division, PharmaKon.

PDI said that growth of its contract sales business had been driven by new business wins and renewals, including two from unnamed ‘top 10’ pharmaceutical industry customers.

This contrasted with the performance of PDI’s marketing business, which it said had fallen as a result of fewer new project wins.

The $24m acquisition of digital marketing firm Group DCA, which was completed in November, also impacted PDI in the final three months of 2010, leaving it with a loss of $2.6m.

However, even including $3.1m in takeover costs, the fourth quarter deficit was still considerably smaller than the $25.2m shortfall PDI recorded in the year earlier quarter.

The pattern was similar for the full year. PDI’s sales business grew 82 per cent to $133m thanks to $75m of new business and $45m worth of contract renewals. The contribution from its marketing unit fell 8 per cent to $11.3m.

In a press statement CEO Nancy Lurker described 2010 as a transformative year for PDI, citing the new sales business wins, DCA deal and expansion of the firm’s offering among the key developments.

The firm is due to hold a conference call to discuss its results later today.

Further diversification in 2011

PDI seems intent on continuing its expansion efforts if announcements it made earlier this month are any indication.

On March 3, PDI launched a new division called new marketing and communications wing called EngageCE.

The unit, which will operate as an independent division, is designed to provide ‘clinical educators’ to “engage [physicians and healthcare providers] in discussions on appropriate drug therapies​.”

And just last week PDI formed a partnership with health care analytics group Qforma, under which customers will be given access to the latter firm’s market modelling tools.

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