UDG eyes American acquisitions in next 12 to 18 months
Healthcare company UDG expects to make more acquisitions in the next 12-18 months as it aligns itself away from drugs distribution towards higher-margin businesses.
The company recently agreed the still-pending sale of its legacy Irish distribution businesses for €407.5m, and yesterday posted a 24pc jump in full-year pre-tax profits - to €107.1m - aided by currency movements.
Incoming chief executive and current chief operating officer Brendan McAtamney said UDG aims to have leadership positions in its priority markets of Europe, the US and Japan, across areas including packaging and healthcare communications, adding that he didn't think the Pfizer-Allergan merger would have much effect on the business.
We always have a few acquisitions in the lens at any point in time...we relocated our head of corporate development, who's our head M&A guy, to the US in the summer just gone and that speaks to the priority of the US," Mr McAtamney told the Irish Independent. "There are a lot of assets available to us there. Healthcare communications in particular is a pretty fragmented, a number of those will come along in the next 12-18 months and I'm confident we will transact a number of those."
In UDG's last financial year, revenue grew 10pc to €2.33bn. Chief executive Liam FitzGerald said group operating margins of 5.2pc exceeded UDG's strategic target of 5pc for the first time. He said the proceeds of selling of the Irish distribution businesses "will support the ongoing implementation of the Group's international expansion strategy and will increase shareholder value through growing the Group's growth platforms."
Mr FitzGerald is to retire from UDG in March.