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Performance and Financial Assessment of the Global Contract Research Organisation Industry

Performance and Financial Assessment of the Global Contract Research Organisation Industry

Key Issues/Challenges that Impact the Contract Research Organization (CRO) Industry

Lower pharmaceutical and biotechnology company profitability.

Patent expiry and revenue loss in pharma and biotech companies.

Declining research and development (R&D) by large pharma companies.

Key Findings

The increasing cost of drug production, sales, and marketing have dented the past high profit margin of top pharmaceutical participants.

All margin parameters remained relatively constant during the study period, indicating stability.

Except for return on capital employed, all other ratios witnessed stable growth. The return on capital employed varied.

The industry has tried to improve accounts receivable, which becomes the key when pharmaceutical R&D is haunted by uncertainties and challenges in bringing a drug from laboratory to market.

About this report

This industry performance and financial assessment of the global contract research organization (CRO) industry analyzes the financial ratios of companies across the globe. The research objectives are to rank companies based on their financial and risk management and identify key trends that can impact the performance of the industry participants over the next year. To assess the financial performance, ratios are divided into 4 categories: profitability, liquidity, activity (turnover), and solvency. Top performers in each industry are also highlighted.


  • Executive Summary
  • Key Terms Used in the Study
  • Introduction
    • Research Methodology
    • Research Objectives and Scope
    • Methodology
    • Ratios Used for Analysis
    • Companies Included in the Study
  • Key Trends That Impact the CRO Industry
    • Declining Profitability
      • Table Pharmaceuticals Industry: Year-on-Year Net Income Change, North America and Europe, 2011-2014
      • Table Pharmaceuticals Industry: Year-on-Year Revenue Change, North America and Europe, 2011-2014
    • Patent Expiry and Revenue Loss for Pharma and Biotech Industry
      • Table Pharma and Biotech Industry: Expected List of Lost Patents, Global, 2015
    • Pharma and Biotech Industry-Declining R&D
      • Table Pharmaceuticals Industry: R&D as a Percent of Sales, Global, 2008 and 2013
  • The CRO Industry
    • CRO Industry Value Chain
    • CRO Industry Business Model
  • Financial Assessment
    • CRO Industry-Margin Analysis
      • Table CRO Industry: Margin Analysis, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Profitability Analysis
      • Table CRO Industry: Profitability Analysis, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Turnover Analysis
      • Table CRO Industry: Turnover Analysis, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Cash Reserve Analysis
      • Table CRO Industry: Cash Reserve Analysis, Global, 2010-2014
  • Financial Benchmarking
    • CRO Industry-Profitability Ranking
      • Table CRO Industry: Financial and Risk Management, Profitability, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Activity Ranking
      • Table CRO Industry: Financial and Risk Management, Activity, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Liquidity Ranking
      • Table CRO Industry: Financial and Risk Management, Liquidity, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Solvency Ranking
      • Table CRO Industry: Financial and Risk Management, Solvency, Global, 2010-2014
    • CRO Industry-Overall Financial and Risk Management Ranking
      • Table CRO Industry: Financial and Risk Management, Overall Ranking, Global, 2010-2014
  • Key Participant Profiles
    • Company Profile-ICON Public Limited Company
      • Table Company Profile-ICON Public Limited Company
    • Company Profile-Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
    • Company Profile-Covance Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-Covance Inc.
    • Company Profile-INC Research Holdings, Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-INC Research Holdings, Inc.
    • Company Profile-inVentiv Health Clinical, Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-inVentiv Health Clinical, Inc.
    • Company Profile-PAREXEL International Corporation
      • Table Company Profile-PAREXEL International Corporation
    • Company Profile-Pharmaceutical Product Development
      • Table Company Profile-Pharmaceutical Product Development
    • Company Profile-PRA Health Sciences, Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-PRA Health Sciences, Inc.
    • Company Profile-Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc.
    • Company Profile-WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc.
      • Table Company Profile-WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc.
  • Conclusions

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