Uniphar in line with expectations as Covid-19 brings new opportunities

Company acknowledges impact of pandemic on business environment

Healthcare services company Uniphar said its business had performed in line with expectations in the first half of the year as the new trading environment brought new opportunities across its business divisions .

In a trading update for the six months ended June 30th 2020, the group said overall organic gross profit growth was 5 per cent. Its liquidity position remains strong, it said.

The company acknowledged the “significant challenges” presented by the Covid-19 outbreak, but said it had seen some benefit in other areas of its business.

Uniphar said it was well positioned for growth in its gross profit in 2020 across its three divisions, with its commercial and clinical division making progress with new client win and new geographical markets. Uniphar’s medical device distributor business saw some impact from Covid-19 as elective surgeries were delayed, but the overall impact was mitigated somewhat by the diversity of its portfolio.

In the product access market, the group said the integration of the Durbin acquisition is substantially complete, with Uniphar also completing the acquisition of Innerstrength Limited, enhancing the company's digital offering.

Uniphar said its supply chain and retail division delivered a robust performance during the period. "Covid-19 has highlighted the critical role this division plays in the national healthcare infrastructure, ensuring much needed medicines continue to be made available to patients without disruption," Uniphar said in a statement. "This division continues to leverage its high-tech wholesale distribution facilities, longstanding manufacturer relationships and scalable digital infrastructure, to maintain market leadership in the Republic of Ireland. "

The group said there were further opportunities for growth due to the fragmented retail pharmacy market in Ireland, coupled with Uniphar’s advanced digital solutions and pharmacy support services.

"Despite the difficult trading backdrop, we have continued to deliver gross profit growth across all our divisions and strong gross profit organic growth at group level. Our suite of digital capabilities continues to be a key strength as we navigate through the pandemic and adapt to the 'new normal'," said Ger Rabbette, Uniphar Group chief executive. "I am very proud of what our team have achieved by demonstrating great resilience and commitment throughout this unprecedented and challenging backdrop.

“We continue to maintain a strong liquidity position and remain well positioned to achieve our strategic objective of doubling EBITDA within five years of IPO.”