ICON Earnings Third Quarter Fiscal 2008

October 21, 2008

Company News Release

ICON reports 35% increase in revenue and 45% increase in operating income.

ICON reports 35% increase in revenue and 45% increase in operating income (NASDAQ:ICLR) (ISIN:IE0005711209)

Highlights – Third Quarter Fiscal 2008

Net revenues increased 35%, to $225.5 million.
Income from operations increased by 45%, to $27.1 million.
Operating margin increased to 12% from 11.2%
Diluted earnings per share increased by 46% to 35 cents.
Net new business wins were $350 million, a book-to-bill of 1.6x.
Dublin, Ireland, October 21, 2008 – ICON (NASDAQ: ICLR) (ISIN:IE0005711209), a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, today reported its financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2008.

Net revenues for the quarter were $225.5 million, representing a 35.1% increase over net revenues of $166.9 million for the comparative quarter last year. Year-to-date, net revenues were $645.2 million, representing a 43.4% increase over the same period last year.

Income from operations was $27.1 million, compared to $18.7 million for the same quarter last year. Operating margin increased to 12.0% from 11.2%. Net income was $21.4 million or 35 cents per share on a diluted basis, compared with $14.5 million or 24 cents per share last year.

Year-to-date income from operations was $73.0 million, compared to $49.5 million last year representing an operating margin increase to 11.3% from 11.0%. Net income was $57.1 million or 93 cents per share, compared with $40.1 million or 67 cents last year.

Days sales outstanding were 54 days at September 30, 2008, compared to 66 days at December 31, 2007.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2008, cash provided by operating activities was $58 million and capital expenditure was $18.1 million. As a result, the company's net cash amounted to $55.6 million at September 30, 2008, compared to net cash of $6.9 million at June 30, 2008.

"We are pleased with our continued strong progress" said Chairman, Dr. John Climax, " Revenues and operating profits for the first nine months of 2008, at $645 million and $73 million respectively, already exceed those achieved in all of 2007. Year-to-date new business bookings, at over $1bn, have also surpassed those of the full year 2007 "

Commenting on the quarter, CEO Peter Gray said " With revenues for the quarter up 35%, margins up to 12%, EPS up 46%, and strong operating cash generation, we are very satisfied with our performance in the quarter. ICON's strategy of listening to its customers and delivering the services they need, where and when they need them, continues to be validated. With net new business awarded in the quarter of $350 million and our backlog now at over $1.74 billion, we are confident in the outlook for the remainder of 2008 and view 2009 with optimism"

The company will hold its third quarter conference call today, October 21, 2008 at 9:00 EST [14:00 Ireland & UK]. This call and linked slide presentation can be accessed live from our website at www.iconplc.com A recording will also be available on the website for 90 days following the call. In addition, a calendar of company events, including upcoming conference presentations, is available on our website, under “Investors”. This calendar will be updated regularly.

The statements made in this Press Release may contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. In addition to the matters described in this Press Release, the ability to maintain large client contracts or enter into new contracts, maintain client relationships and the ability to manage the opening of new offices, the integration of new business mergers and acquisitions, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in SEC reports filed by ICON, including its Form 20-F, F-1, S-8 and F-3, may affect the actual results achieved by ICON. ICON disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

The financial information presented herein has been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

ICON plc is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The Company specializes in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development - from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. With headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, ICON currently,operates from 71 locations in 38 countries and has approximately 6,600 employees. Further information is available at www.iconplc.com.

Source: ICON plc

Contact : Investor Relations 1-888-381-7923 or

Ciaran Murray CFO + 353 –1-291-2000

Both at ICON.

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