Saturday 20 January 2018

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare, reports a 13pc jump in operating profit

UDG Healthcare has reported profits of $58.8 million
UDG Healthcare has reported profits of $58.8 million

Gretchen Friemann

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare, reported a 13pc jump in operating profit to $58.8 million this morning as it revealed an improved performance across all of its major divisions for the first six months of the financial year.

The London-listed diversified health company, which has a market capitalisation of £1.9bn and recently switched to reporting in US dollars, notched up revenue growth of 8pc to $578.9 million.

Diluted earnings per share (eps) rose by 19pc - 29pc on a constant currency basis - propelled higher by acquisitions, notably STEM in its sales and marketing arm Ashfield.

The robust performance prompted UDG to raise its guidance for the 2017 full year eps by 2pc, setting the new target range to 15-18pc on last year's results, compared to earlier forecasts of 13-16pc.

However the sale of some of UDG's Irish businesses in April last year, dragged total group EPS down 21pc.

The move was part of a long-planned strategic shift that has focused UDG on three main divisions; Ashfield, the packaging and serialisation company Sharp and Aquilant, which provides sales and marketing services to the medtech industry

UDG, formerly known as United Drug, has been busily acquiring businesses for its highly profitable Ashfield division, which essentially provides sales reps and healthcare communications for drug companies.

It has outlaid $14.4m for Sellxpert, a German contract sales organisation, although the deal is subject to approval from the competition authority.

Operating profits at Ashfield leapt by 18pc in the first half, driven partly by the STEM and Pegasus businesses, which were bought in 2016.

Chief Executive Officer, Brendan McAtamney said the "first half of 2017 has been another very progressive period for UDG Healthcare, with strong growth delivered and continued progress made in pursuit of the Group’s strategic objectives."

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