28 JAN 2020

Good start to the financial year and full year guidance issued

28 January 2020: 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 2019. The Group will hold its Annual General Meeting in Dublin at 12.30pm today.

First Quarter to 31 December 2019


The Group has made a good start to the financial year with constant currency profit before tax for the quarter to 31 December 2019 well ahead of the same quarter last year.


Ashfield’s operating profit was significantly ahead of the same quarter last year, driven by good underlying growth and the benefit of 2019 acquisitions.

Communications & Advisory continues to perform strongly with operating profit significantly ahead of the same quarter last year, including the benefit of acquisitions completed in 2019. Commercial & Clinical has started the year trading in line with expectations, with operating profits ahead of the same quarter last year reflecting the impact of restructuring.


Sharp’s operating profit was ahead of a strong comparative quarter last year with all parts of the business trading in line with expectations.

Group Outlook & Development

Based on the Group’s 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 2020 to be between 7% and 9% ahead of last year’s IFRS15 basis EPS of US$ 47.3c.

The Group’s guidance reflects the impact of IFRS162, which was not included in FY19 EPS, the recent disposal of Ashfield’s pharmacovigilance business, and an expected higher effective tax rate for the Group than last year due to an increasing proportion of profits being generated in the US.

The Group’s strong balance sheet allows it to make further strategic acquisitions as those opportunities arise, complementing its continued underlying profit growth.

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

2 The new lease accounting standard (IFRS 16 ‘Leases') is effective for the Group from 1 October 2019. The Group adopted the new standard under the modified retrospective transition approach. Under this transition method, the new standard is applied from 1 October 2019 without restatement of comparative period amounts.

Date for Interim Results

The Group expects to issue its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2020 on Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Conference Call

UDG Healthcare plc will host a conference call for investors and analysts at 9.00am (GMT) today, Tuesday 28 January to discuss this statement. The dial-in details are as follows:

UK: +44 (0) 203 059 5868

USA: +1 (1) 760 294 16 74

Ireland: +353 1 526 9451

Please dial-in to the call 10 minutes before, and quote “UDG Trading Update” when prompted.

A playback facility will be available for seven days on +44 (0)121 260 4862. The access code for the replay will be 00089765.

Forward Looking Statements

Some statements in this announcement are or may be forward looking statements. They represent expectations for the Group’s business, including statements that relate to the Group’s future prospects, developments and strategies, and involve risks and uncertainties both general and specific. The Group has based these forward-looking statements on assumptions regarding present and future strategies of the Group and the environment in which it will operate in the future. However, because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors including but not limited to general economic, political, financial and business factors, which in some cases are beyond the Group’s control, actual results, performance, operations or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and accordingly you should not rely on these forward looking statements in making investment decisions. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, neither the Group nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements after the date these statements are published, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For reference:

Investors and Analysts:

Keith Byrne

Head of Investor Relations, Strategy & Corporate Communications

UDG Healthcare plc

Tel: + 353 (0) 1 468 9000

Business / Financial media:

Lisa Kavanagh / Jack Hickey


Tel: + 44 (0) 207 250 1446

About UDG Healthcare plc:

UDG Healthcare plc (LON: UDG) is a leading international partner of choice delivering advisory, communication, commercial, clinical and packaging services to the healthcare industry, employing over 8,500 people with operations in 26 countries and delivering services in over 50 countries.

UDG Healthcare plc operates across two divisions: Ashfield and Sharp.

Ashfield is a global leader in advisory, communication, commercial and clinical services for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. 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 healthcare industries, operating from state-of the-art facilities in the US and Europe. 

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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