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PPD Earnings up 18% in Q4, Plans to Acquire AbCRO

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wilmington, N.C.-based CRO PPD reported full-year and fourth quarter 2008 earnings late yesterday, reflecting an 11% increase in its full year revenues despite a slight decrease in fourth quarter revenues.

Net income for the full year 2008 was $187.5 million, up from $163.4 in 2007. Net income for the quarter was also up—$47.2 million compared with a net income of $40.5 million in Q4 2007. Fourth quarter 2008 diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.40, an increase of 18% compared to $0.34 for the same period last year.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter 2008 was $368.2 million, down slightly from $375 million in the same period 2007. Net revenue for the full year 2008 was $1.57 billion, up from $1.41 billion in 2007.
PPD also announced yesterday its plans to acquire CRO AbCRO.

The acquisition, scheduled to be complete at the end of the first quarter 2009, is the second Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)-based acquisition for PPD, which acquired Russia-based CRO InnoPharma a year ago.

PPD has operations in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, and, with the acquisition of AbCRO, will gain entry into Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia. AbCRO, although American-owned, provides Phase II to IV clinical study services in CEE, operating offices in Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.

“This acquisition will strengthen our foothold in Central and Eastern Europe and enhance our ability to conduct global trials for our clients. We see many synergies with AbCRO and anticipate a relatively seamless integration, with many of the AbCRO employees already well-versed on basic PPD procedures and systems,” said PPD CEO Fred Eshelman in a company statement.

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