United Drug delivers solid first half results

FTSE 250-listed outsourced commercialisation services provider United Drug delivered solid results for the first half of the year underpinned by growth in its US packaging division.

FTSE 250-listed outsourced commercialisation services provider United Drug delivered solid results for the first half of the year underpinned by growth in its US packaging division.

Operating profits across the group in the six months to March 31st were up 13% and revenue was up 14% to €1.02bn, from the corresponding period in 2012.

Earnings per share were 7.0% higher on the same period of 2012. Strong cash flow performance was recorded with operating cash flow of €55.8m in the period, significantly up on the €20.4m generated in the same period of 2012.

The packaging and specialty division revenue for the period was recorded at €99m, 26% higher than the same period in 2012, with operating profit growing by 25%.

Revenue for the Sales, Marketing & Medical division of €182m was 113% higher than the same period in 2012. Much of the growth came from the recently acquired Pharmexx businesses, the group said, which had lower margins than its existing business at the time of acquisition.

Revenue for the Healthcare Supply Chain division for the period of €736m was 1.0% ahead of 2012. Operating profits increased by 2.0% over the same period in 2012.

In September, the group plans to re-brand as 'UDG Healthcare', subject to shareholder approval so as to apply brand consistency within each division. The group said that an EGM notice seeking approval for the change would be circulated to shareholders in the coming weeks.

Liam FitzGerald, Chief Executive Officer of United Drug, commented: "The first half of 2013 has seen us integrate our recent acquisitions, structure our business for future growth and deliver 13% operating profit growth."

He added: "During the period, the US became our largest profit contributing region, followed closely by the UK and the rest of Europe. We continue to work hard to provide a range and quality of professional outsourcing solutions that enable our international healthcare clients to operate more effectively."

United Drug's share price was down 0.62% to 306.20p at 10:10 on Thursday.

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