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Pharmexx buy boosts United Drug first-half profit

DRUG distribution and packaging services company United Drug Plc said its first-half profit rose 8pc, boosted by its acquisition of a marketing services provider in 2012.

The company also said it would close its UK commercial packaging facility and record charges of €21m to €24m ($27.7m-$31.6m) for the full year, largely related to the closure.

United Drug reported an adjusted pretax profit of €38m for the six months to March 31 while revenue rose 14pc to €1.02bn.

Revenue at its sales, marketing and medical division more than doubled to 182 million euros, with much of this growth coming from the recently acquired Pharmexx.

"During the period, the U.S. became our largest profit-contributing region, followed closely by the UK and the rest of Europe," Chief Executive Liam FitzGerald said.

The company said it continued to expect adjusted diluted earnings per share to rise 5 to 8 percent for the full year on a constant currency basis.

United Drug shares closed at 308.1 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange. They have gained roughly a third in value in the past six months.