ICON, the global provider of outsourced development services based in Ireland, recorded operating income of US$20.9 million for the third quarter of 2012, a vast improvement on the US$3.7 million operating loss seen in the same period last year.

The Q3 2011 figure included US$4.8 million in restructuring and other non-recurring charges. Without these, operating income in the latest quarter would still have been more than 18 times the US$1.1 million registered in the year-before period.

ICON’s performance in the second quarter of 2012 was also hampered by special items. In that instance, restructuring and other non-recurring charges of US$5.6 million dragged operating income down to US$11.0 million compared with US$15.5 million in the second quarter of 2011.

Revenue increase

The revived showing in the latest quarter benefited from an 18.6% increase in net revenues over Q3 2011, to US$285.5 million.

Net income, including charges, was US$17.7 million or US$0.29 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of US$2.7 million (US$0.04) one year previously.

In the year to date, 43.1% of ICON’s net revenues have come from the US and 44.7% from the EMEA countries, with 12.2% flowing from the Asia Pacific/Latin America regions.

Corresponding figures for fiscal year 2011 were 46.2%, 41.6% and 12.1% respectively.

Business wins

ICON reported net business wins of US$450 million for the latest quarter and a net book to bill ratio of 1.59 versus 1.79 in the third quarter of 2011. Backlog for Q3 2012 was up by 19% year on year to US$2.7 billion

 “I am happy with our progress so far in 2012,” commented ICON’s chief executive officer Ciaran Murray.

“We have recorded US$1.5bn of gross bookings in the first three quarters of the year, produced 16% growth in revenue year to date and our margin recovery continues to go to plan.”

Full NASDAQ listing planned

ICON also announced plans to proceed with a full listing of its shares on the US NASDAQ exchange and to terminate its current NASDAQ American Depositary Receipt programme. The transition would include delisting from the Irish Stock Exchange.

The company noted in its annual report for 2011 that it had been considering the structure of its share listings due to its international operations and profile.