07 FEB 2017

FIRST QUARTER TRADING UPDATE

Good start to the year and full year guidance issued

7 February 2017:

UDG Healthcare plc (“the Group”), a leading international provider of healthcare services, issues the following trading update covering the period from 1 October to 31 December 2016. The company will hold its Annual General Meeting in Dublin at 12.00pm today.

Quarter to 31 December 2016

Group

The Group has made a good start to the financial year with operating profits for the quarter to 31 December 2016 well ahead of the same quarter last year. This performance has been driven by continued good underlying growth and the impact of acquisitions. As a result of the fall in the value of Sterling, reported profit growth was moderated by the translation of our Sterling profits into US Dollars.

Ashfield

Trading is well ahead of the same quarter last year, with good underlying growth supplemented by acquisitions. STEM was acquired in October 2016 and has performed in line with expectations.

Within the Ashfield Commercial & Clinical business, operating profit growth was strongest in the US, as the business ramps up activity on contract wins from 2016. The Ashfield communications business continues to perform well with underlying profit ahead of the same quarter last year.

Sharp

Divisional operating profits during the quarter were moderately ahead of a strong comparable quarter last year.

The Sharp US commercial packaging business continues to increase activity levels within its recently expanded facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The business also continues to increase its engagement with clients in preparation for the serialisation of prescription products from November 2017. Both factors are expected to have a more material benefit on performance in the second half of the year.

Sharp Europe remains focused on converting its improved business development pipeline into new business activity. This pipeline is mainly in the biotech focused Belgian facility.

Aquilant

Aquilant’s underlying operating profits were in line with the same quarter last year.

Board Appointment

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Myles Lee as a non-executive director of the Company with effect from 1 April 2017. Mr. Lee was Group Chief Executive of CRH plc, a FTSE100 and Fortune 500 company, prior to retiring in December 2013.

Group Outlook & Development

With effect from 1 October 2016, the Group now reports its financial results in US Dollars.

Based on the Group’s good trading performance during the first quarter of the financial year, the Group expects constant currency adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS)1 for the year to 30 September 2017 to be between 13% and 16% ahead of last year’s continuing Group EPS of US$ 31.8c (Euro: 28.6c).

The average FY16 exchange rates were US$1 = £0.704 and €0.90. Based on the current prevailing exchange rates, the Group is likely to face a foreign exchange headwind on the translation of Sterling profits in FY17.

The Group remains in a net cash position, leaving the business well positioned to continue its corporate development activities, which should serve to complement its continued underlying profit growth.

1 Before the amortisation of acquired intangible assets, transaction costs and exceptional items

Date for Interim Results

The Group will issue its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2017 on Tuesday 23 May 2017.

Conference Call

UDG Healthcare plc will host a conference call for investors and analysts at 9.00am (GMT) today, Tuesday 7 February 2017 to discuss this statement. The dial-in details are as follows:

Standard International Access: +44 (0) 20 3003 2666
UK Toll Free 0808 109 0700
Ireland +353 (0) 1 436 0959
Password UDG Healthcare

A playback facility will be available for seven days on +44 (0) 20 8196 1998. The access code for the replay will be 4565150#.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions, including statements with respect to the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations. By their nature these statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. These statements reflect the reasonable beliefs and expectations of the Company, are made in good faith and are based on the information available to the Company at the date of this announcement. However, a number of factors, including known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which are in some cases beyond the Company’s control, could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

For reference:

Investors and Analysts:
Alan Ralph 
CFO 
UDG Healthcare plc 
Tel: +353-1-468-9000 

Keith Byrne
Head of Investor Relations, Strategy & Corporate Communications
UDG Healthcare plc
Tel: + 353-1-468-9000

Media:
Lisa Kavanagh / Jack Hickey
Powerscourt
Tel: +44-207-250-1446

About UDG Healthcare plc:

UDG Healthcare plc (LON: UDG) is a leading international partner of choice delivering commercial, clinical, communications and packaging services to the healthcare industry, employing almost 8,000 people with operations in 23 countries and delivering services in over 50 countries.

UDG Healthcare plc operates across three divisions: Ashfield, Sharp and Aquilant.

Ashfield is a global leader in commercialisation services for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, operating across two broad areas of activity: commercial & clinical services, and communications services. It focuses on supporting healthcare professionals and patients at all stages of the product life cycle. The division provides field and contact centre sales teams, healthcare communications, patient support, audit, advisory, medical information and event management services to over 300 healthcare companies.

Sharp is a global leader in contract commercial packaging and clinical trial packaging services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, operating from state of the art facilities across the US and Europe. Sharp is also a world leader in ’Track and Trace’ serialisation services, which will require all prescription drugs to have a unique serial code for authentication and traceability.

Aquilant is a leading provider of outsourced sales, marketing, distribution and engineering services to the medical and scientific sectors in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250.

For more information please go to: www.udghealthcare.com

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