Business This Week: results, indicators and meetings

Preliminary results from UDG Healthcare and a conference on protected disclosures in the workplace

MONDAY (November 26th)

Results: Fusion Antibodies.

Indicators: UK mortgage approvals (Oct); German business climate, current conditions and expectations (Nov).

Meetings: Accounting Technicians Ireland annual conference (Chartered Accountants House, Pearse Street, Dublin); launch of Tourism Ireland's 2019 marketing plans promoting Ireland overseas (InterContinental Hotel, 4 Simmonscourt Road, Dublin).


Results: Cranswick, UDG Healthcare, GW Pharmaceuticals.


Indicators: UK housing prices (Nov); German import prices (Oct); US house price index (Sept), consumer confidence (Nov).

Meetings: Release of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council's fiscal assessment (ESRI offices, Dublin); launch of Economic and Social Research Institute report "Job Stress and Working Conditions: Ireland in Comparative Perspective" (ESRI, Dublin 2).

UDG Healthcare will published preliminary results for 2018 on Tuesday, four months after its share price ran into trouble following difficulties with contract sales and patient support services.

At one point shares dipped 10 per cent when it emerged the commercial and clinical section of its largest division experienced a challenging third quarter with operating profits far below the same quarter in 2017.

However, the communications and advisory arm of Ashfield – which accounts for two-thirds of UDG profits – had “performed strongly” following acquisitions, a report to investors noted. Ashfield represents an estimated 70 per cent of group profits.

In a note following the share slide, Davy said that five years ago Ashfield was largely a pure-play sales rep business generating about $40 million (€35m) in operating profit. “For 2019 we forecast operating profit of [over] $100 million (€87.5m). 97 per cent of divisional M&A spend in the intervening period has been used to build out Ashfield’s high-growth, high-margin communications and advisory business,” it said.

“We think sales rep exposure could fall to about 13 per cent of divisional profits and about 10 per cent of group in the next couple of years.”


Results: Tiffany, Guess.

Indicators: Irish retail sales (Oct); euro zone loan growth and money supply (Oct); German consumer confidence (Dec); US corporate profits (Q3), GDP growth (Q3), new home sales (Oct).

Meetings: Future in Food Ireland (Pairc Úi Chaoimh, The Marina, Co Cork); Transparency International's Integrity at Work conference (Radisson Blu Golden Lane, Golden Lane, Dublin).

Matters of whistleblowing and protected disclosures have arguably never been so prominent in Irish society, and have, accordingly, captured the attention of employers.

On Wednesday, Transparency International’s second Integrity at Work conference will grapple with many of the issues at hand. It will bring together representatives from more than 50 employers in the public, private and non-profit sectors to share experiences of supporting staff who speak up about wrongdoing in the workplace.

"We hope that more workers will find the courage to speak up and, through the Integrity at Work programme, we are working with employers to ensure they listen to staff who raise concerns and take action to respond to them," said TI Ireland chief executive John Devitt ahead of the conference.

The organisation has pointed out that in the aftermath of the Disclosures Tribunal and recent amendments to Ireland’s whistleblowing laws, “it is understandable that Irish employers are seeking clarity on how to deal with protected disclosures in the workplace”.

Furthermore, it said with the European Commission proposing a new directive to strengthen EU whistleblower protection, employers across all sectors need to assess if their systems are robust and if their staff feel equipped to raise or deal with a concern of wrongdoing.


Results: Abercrombie & Fitch, HP.

Indicators: Euro zone business and consumer confidence (Nov), services, economic and industrial sentiment (Nov), consumer inflation expectations (Nov); UK consumer credit (Oct), lending to individuals (Oct), mortgage lending (Oct); German unemployment (Nov), inflation (Nov); US personal income and spending (Oct).

Meetings: Irish Waste Management Conference (Croke Park, Dublin); Leman Consulting's Future of Law and Legal Technology conference (Aviva Stadium, Dublin).


Indicators: Euro zone inflation flash (Nov), unemployment (Oct); German retail sales (Oct).