Uniphar shares rise amid Covid-19 business boost

Shares in the company were 5.8 per cent higher at €1.10

Ger Rabbette, CEO of Uniphar.

Ger Rabbette, CEO of Uniphar.

 

Shares in Uniphar, the Irish healthcare services company that that floated last summer, jumped on Monday as it reported a “significant spike in demand” across its business as the Government and healthcare industry ramped up preparations to deal with an expected surge in Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks.

“As we prepare for the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the next 12 weeks, we expect to continue to see increased volumes across the group, with likely increases in cost to serve as we invest in additional resources to manage significantly higher volumes, while at the same time dealing with reduced availability of manpower due to potential sick leave or self-isolation/quarantine situations arising,” the company said.

While the company’s historic business has been as a pharmaceuticals wholesaler, its fast-growing commercial division, which helps drug and medical device makers sell products; and clinical and products access unit, which sources and supplies unlicensed medicines for retail and hospital pharmacy customers, have driven the business in recent years.

Shares in the company were 5.8 per cent higher at €1.10 at 10.35am.

However the company said that due to reprioritisation of resources within hospitals and other healthcare facilities it expects a delay in medical device revenue, if certain non-urgent elective surgeries have to be postponed. The net impact of a three-month disruption would result in a €5 million earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation hit in 2020, it said.

“We would, however, expect that this would be recovered in future periods as and when healthcare systems return to normal,” it said.

The company expects to publish its final results for 2019 on Friday.