WILMINGTON–PPD Inc., a pharmaceutical contract research organization, reports first quarter net revenue of $195.3 million or 44 cents a diluted share, a 15 percent increase over the same quarter last year.

In the first quarter 2003, PPD reported net revenue of $169.9 million or 38 cents a diluted share.

First quarter 2004 income from operations totaled $38.5 million, an increase of 18.8 percent compared to income from operations of $32.4 million for the same period in 2003.

The company said its cash flow from operations reached a five-quarter high. It also had its 18th consecutive quarter of sequential backlog growth. New business authorizations for the first quarter of 2004 were
$276.0 million, compared to $252.9 million for the first quarter of 2003.

PPD provides development and discovery services for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. The company employs 5,800 people in 27 countries.