Icon chief expresses cautious optimism
The chief executive of Irish clinical research group Icon, Peter Gray, said he remains "positive" but "cautious" on the outlook for the remainder of 2010, despite a challenging environment.
He said this as Icon reported a 3pc rise in Q4 net revenue to $227m (e167m) alongside a 12pc jump in income, to $29.6m for the period.
The company, which provides services such as undertaking drug trials on behalf of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, reported a 3pc rise in full-year revenue to almost $888m, while operating income for 2009 was 16pc higher at $116m.
Margins at the business improved from 11.5pc to 13.1pc during the year and earnings per share rose 18pc to $1.53.
Mr Gray said the company's order backlog now stands $1.84bn.
"While external factors are challenging, and many governments are endeavouring to reduce healthcare costs, including pharmaceutical prices, we remain positive, though cautious, as 2010 commences," he said.
He added that Icon is now guiding revenue of between $890m and $940m for 2010 and earnings per share of between $1.44 and $1.60.
Shares in Icon closed just over 1pc lower at €17.30 in Dublin yesterday.