A Canadian drug maker that moved its U.S. headquarters to Research Triangle Park last year reported today that quarterly revenue fell, partly because of "global softness in pharmaceutical development activity."
Patheon now employs about 50 at the headquarters and an RTP laboratory, and about 4,400 worldwide. The company expects to add up to 50 more local employees as its lab expands, said spokeswoman Wendy Wilson.
The company produces prescription medicines for other pharmaceutical firms, which have been cutting back amid the recession.
The company also blamed its revenue drop on a manufacturing snag in its Puerto Rico operations that hurt output.
Total revenue during the third quarter that ended July 31 fell to $164.4 million, down nearly 16 percent from the same period last year. Operating income was cut in half, falling to $3.7 million.
"The third quarter was disappointing, both due to the reported results and because the results don't fully reflect the progress we've made in restructuring the company and lowering its cost base," said CEO Wes Wheeler, in a prepared statement.
To offset a slowdown in its business, Patheon has cut hundreds of jobs worldwide since Dec. 2007, when Wheeler was hired as CEO.
There was some good news in the latest earnings report. Patheon added 34 new customers during the first nine months of 2009.
But the average value of the company's projects has declined as competition to win customers increases, and pharmaceutical companies become more cautious with their drug-development budgets.
Patheon shares, which are mostly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, fell 6 cents to today to $2.93. The stock is down about 7 percent in the past year.