Slowing growth in 2010 sends Icon shares lower
SHARES in the Irish clinical trials company Icon tumbled yesterday after the company said growth had slowed in 2010.
The company reported a 9.5pc increase in fourth-quarter operating income to $22m (€15m) on the back of revenue that increased 2.1pc to $232m.
For the full year, Icon said net revenue increased by 1.4pc to $900m, resulting in annual profits of $92m -- up 10pc on 2009.
Those numbers resulted in diluted earnings per share of $1.44.
The firm said the downturn had affected business during 2010 and the company had repositioned itself for the new economic environment. The benefits of that repositioning would not be realised until the end of the year, however.
As a result, the company said it expected revenue for 2011 to be in the $945m to $980m range, a jump of between 5-9pc, while earnings per share are expected to be between $1.10 and $1.25.
Company chief executive Peter Gray said: "The last year has been a challenging year, as some parts of our business, and particularly our central lab, absorbed the impact of the weak business environment in 2009.
"The year also saw acceleration in the pace of change in the biopharmaceutical industry, which is creating strong opportunities for the future, but is requiring us to adapt our business model and structures to effectively capitalise on these.
"This process continues, and we are making significant investments to build additional capabilities, to leverage our scale more effectively, and to implement process and systems change necessary to prosper in the evolving market."
Icon employs 700 at its global headquarters in Sandyford in Dublin. Since it was founded in 1990 by doctors John Climax and Ronan Lambe, the company has grown to employ more than 7,000 people across 71 companies.
The stock closed down 6.6pc at €14.50.