Difficult new biz acquisitions drag PDI's Q2 profits

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Revenue Marketing

PDI Q2 profits: difficult new business is problem
Longer-than-expected ramp up in new business gains for PDI has dragged on Q2 earnings results for the firm.

The health care commercialisation company has saw a weak first quarter due to what it said was a “shrunken” contract sales sector in 2011​, as well as a number of contract sales deals expirations​.

And though in its conference call at the time CEO Nancy Lurker said the firm is “very confident we will sign additional contracts and renewals in coming quarters,” ​adding that the firm had $16m worth of renewals contracts waiting to be converted into sales, Q2 still saw gross profits at $6.6m – a 17 per cent dip year-on-year.

In a statement, Lurker said: "As expected, second quarter revenue was below that of the same period in 2011 due primarily to the anticipated expiration of certain 2011 contracts and the timing of the signing of new contracts in 2012.”

Lurker however remained positive that though expected new sales are taking their time to come to fruition, a number of new deals signed in the quarter and more in the pipeline means improved biz in the future, especially within its Interpace BioPharma segment.

“Wins included contracts with two, new top 10 global pharmaceutical companies and a number of new, mid-sized pharmaceutical companies,”​ the company said in a statement.

"In terms of additional avenues for long-term revenue growth and improved margins and profitability, we continue to see opportunities around Interpace BioPharma, in particular, which offers full product commercialisation services,”​ Lurker added. “We remain strongly committed to executing on an accelerated growth strategy to take advantage of the capabilities of Interpace BioPharma.”

Shark in the water

The firm also seems happy that operating costs are down from last year – from $8m to $6.9m $2.1m – largely attributing the decrease to significant reductions in costs at its recently acquired digital physician engagement firm Group DCA.

In the results, the firm said spending had settled down from last year, when the post acquisition “right-sizing of that business”​ was at its peak.

However analysts remain wary of the business, saying it appears to have underperformed.

William Blair’s John Kreger said: “Outside its core contract sales business, PDI has generally had a somewhat troublesome track record with acquisitions over  the years, and on the surface, Group DCA seems to be no different.

“Although operating results for Group DCA on a stand-alone basis were not provided for the second quarter, we believe that the marketing services segment is primarily composed of Group DCA, which was down year-over-year and sequentially.”

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