Coronavirus outbreak could cut Uniphar earnings by €5m

Company is counting on gradual easing of restrictions from June

Uniphar chairman Maurice Pratt: he said the company’s digital focus in recent years was proving a “core strength”, enabling its workforce to operate effectively despite the disruption. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Uniphar chairman Maurice Pratt: he said the company’s digital focus in recent years was proving a “core strength”, enabling its workforce to operate effectively despite the disruption. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Health services company Uniphar said the coronavirus outbreak could cost the business up to €5 million in lost earnings. The company made the prediction based on restrictions easing from the end of June, and a return to normality later in the year.

“Based on the impact on trade during April and a full reforecast exercise carried out this month, we believe the financial impact to the group arising from ongoing Covid-19 disruption to be a reduction in projected 2020 Ebitda in the region of €5 million, based on the assumption that severe restrictions will ease gradually from June onwards before normalising towards the end of the year,” said chairman Maurice Pratt.

“As we navigate these challenges it is critical that we retain our vital resources and infrastructure to position the group to deliver its strategy in the medium term.”

The company said it had taken the necessary precautions to keep staff safe while remaining committed to ensuring continuity in the supply and distribution of medicines, medical devices and related services.

Uniphar, which held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, said 2019 was a transformative year for the company, completing its dual stock market listing in London and Dublin, and making a number of acquisitions.

“The IPO provided the group with a strong capital structure, and we made a number of key acquisitions during the year while also growing organically,” Mr Pratt said.

“The significant progress made in the year is reflected in the financial performance, with Uniphar achieving 56 per cent growth in gross profit, Ebitda (pre-IFRS 16) growth of 49 per cent and ending the year with strong liquidity and in a net cash position.”

Mr Pratt said the company’s digital focus in recent years was proving a “core strength”, enabling its workforce to operate effectively despite the disruption.