Tuesday 26 November 2019 5:47 pm

UDG in excellent health as profits rise in full year results

UDG Healthcare, the international healthcare services supplier, posted a rise in annual profit today on the back of less one-off charges and margin improvements.

The FTSE 250 firm also said its earnings per share rose seven per cent in the company’s year end results, at the top end of its previous guidance.

Read more: Compass group shares sink as business catering unit is undercooked

The figures

UDG said that pre-tax profit for the year through September jumped to $74.3m, up from $8.4m on-year, even as revenue fell one per cent to $1.30bn.

Ashfield, the company’s healthcare advisory and communications service, generated net revenue of $753.9m and adjusted operating profit of $108.4m, two per cent and 10 per cent ahead of the prior year respectively.

Sharp, which handles packaging, delivered a good performance during the year generating revenue of $360.3m and adjusted operating profit of
$50.0m, 16 per cent and 9 per cent ahead of the same period last year respectively.

The company declared a full-year dividend of 16.8c per share, up 5% on-year.

Why it’s interesting

The company also used the results to announce the acquisition of Canale Communications, a US based scientific strategic communications agency, for up to $31m.

The purchase takes total amount committed to acquisitions during 2019 to $137m.

In May the company acquired Putnam Associates and Incisive Health as UDG continues its expansion into higher growth areas.

Analysts at Davy’s welcomed the results, saying: “UDG has reported a strong set of full year 2019 results at the top end of earnings per share guidance, with both Ashfield and Sharp delivering ahead of expectations.

Read more: FTSE 250 hits highest level in 15 months as Conservatives maintain poll lead

“Cash flow was also exceptionally strong, in part due to better cash management.”

What UDG said

Commenting on the performance, chief executive officer, Brendan McAtamney said:

“2019 was another year of strong strategic progress for UDG Healthcare. We delivered good financial growth with adjusted earnings per share increasing by seven per cent on a constant currency basis, the top end of guidance.

“Our two global platforms, Ashfield and Sharp delivered a strong performance through a combination of underlying growth and the benefit of acquisitions.

“Looking ahead to 2020, we expect to continue to deliver good growth across our businesses, supplemented by further strategic acquisitions utilising our strong balance sheet.”