Icon continued its run of strong quarterly results in the first three months of 2013, with operating income up by 96.0% year on year to US$23.0 million and net revenues 25.5% ahead at US$316.8 million.

The income figure included restructuring and other items amounting to US$4.41 million in the first quarter. Stripping out these charges pushed operating income up to US$27.4 million, more than double the US$11.7 million recorded in the opening quarter of 2012.

Taking into account the restructuring charges, diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the three months ended 31 March 2013 were US$0.31, compared with US$0.15 in the year-before quarter.

Without the charges, diluted EPS rose from US$0.15 to US$0.36 in the latest quarter.

Encouraging start

In what chief executive officer Ciaran Murray described as “an encouraging start to 2013”, the Ireland-based provider of outsourced development services reported gross business wins worth US$481 million for the first quarter, giving a gross book-to-bill ratio of 1.52.

That translated into net new business of US$422 million and a net book-to-bill ratio of 1.33, providing Icon with “a solid foundation upon which to build during the remainder of 2013”, Murray said.

In the first quarter of 2012, Icon ran up gross and net new business wins of US$485 million and US$385 million respectively. The net book-to-bill was 1.53 at that point.

Operating margin

The company also continued to make progress in expanding its operating margin, which reached 8.7% in the quarter, Murray noted.

The operating margin (adjusted to exclude restructuring and other charges) was 4.7% in the opening quarter of 2012 and 8.1% in the final quarter of that year.

Looked at geographically, Icon generated 46.1% of its net revenues from Europe in Q1 2013, compared with 45.8% in the whole of 2012.

The US accounted for 42.8% of net revenues (42.3% in FY 2012) in the latest quarter and the Apac/Latam regions for 11.1% (11.9%).