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IQVIA Notes Covid Effects but Continues Growth

May 4 2020

Pharma and healthcare data giant IQVIA has reported Q1 revenue up 3.7% at constant currency, to $2.754bn, and adjusted EBITDA down slightly to $562m from $587m a year earlier. The firm says the pandemic has affected business but it expects 'a strong recovery' by the end of 2020.

Ari BousbibIQVIA, which was formed from the 2016 merger of Quintiles and IMS Health, forecasts full year 2020 revenue of $10.6 - $10.925bn and adjusted EBITDA at a healthy $2.2 - 2.3bn. The firm says it 'began 2020 with the same strong financial and operational momentum with which it closed 2019' but from March 'began to experience an impact across all three of its reported segments, with a disproportionate impact to the R&D Solutions (R&DS) business'.

The three divisions are Technology & Analytics Solutions (TAS) - revenue up 5.5% at constant currency to $1,117m; R&DS - up 2.4% to $1,441m; and Contract Sales & Medical Solutions (CSMS) - up 2.6% to $196m.

IGVIA says that at present around 80% of its clinical research sites are 'inaccessible due to limitations on the ability to travel to and access sites', and it assumes an average of 70% will be inaccessible during this second quarter; 35% during the third quarter; and all sites open and accessible by the beginning of the fourth quarter. IQVIA expects the second quarter to be the fiscal quarter most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The second quarter will be the worst affected with projected revenue of $2.365 - 2.440bn and adjusted EBITDA of between $445 and 470m.

Chairman and CEO Ari Bousbib (pictured) says of the results: 'Our team continues to execute well under these unprecedented circumstances. We have accelerated and expanded a variety of cost containment actions to counter the pressures on the top line. Importantly, we have quickly activated business continuity plans, including remote delivery capabilities in technology and analytics, remote monitoring and virtual trials in R&DS and virtual commercial activity with clients wherever possible. Despite restrictions placed on in-person access to clients, R&DS business development activity remained strong and the team added to our already industry-leading backlog. Demand for our technology and analytics offerings also remains strong and the TAS business benefits from a large portion of recurring revenue that we have built up over time. We anticipate an acceleration of business momentum when the crisis subsides as delayed trial activities will still need to be performed. Combined with continued strength in new business wins, IQVIA is well positioned for a strong recovery by the end of 2020 and a return to our growth trajectory headed into 2021'.

A comparison with Nielsen's results, announced last week and headlining with $1.56bn in Q1 revenue and EBITDA of $395m, make the pharma company comfortably the biggest firm in the sector - depending of course on ever-shifting definitions of data and insights.

Web site: www.iqvia.com .

All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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