Clinical research firm ICON has reported higher revenues and income for 2016 and said it was on track for more growth this year.

ICON said its revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 5.8% to $1.666 billion from $1.575 billion in 2015. 

Full year income from its operations increased by 13.6% to $319.9m, or 19.2% of revenue. This compared to $281.5m or 17.9% of revenue in 2015.

The company's earnings per share grew by 19.8% year on year to $4.77.

ICON provides drug development solutions and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.

In its results statement, the company said today that cash generated from operating activities for the year came to $259.2m, while capital expenditure amounted to €42.6m

During the year, the company spent $54m on acquisitions, including a deal for ClinicalRM which extended its presence in the market for government sponsored research.

The company's chief executive Ciaran Murray said that during the year, ICON grew its backlog by 8% year on year to $4.2 billion. 

"We expect 2017 to be another year for revenue and earnings growth as we continue to build and diversify our customer base," Mr Murray added.

ICON employs about 1,000 people in Ireland, at its headquarters in Dublin and its office in Limerick. It has a global workforce of about 12,500 people in 87 offices in 38 countries.