United Drug ‘still open to resuming its Iseq listing’

United Drug has said that it remains open to the option of resuming a listing on the Irish Stock Exchange.

The Dublin-headquartered healthcare services group — which derives 70% of its earnings from outside of Ireland — delisted from the Iseq last October, in favour of a full share listing in London.

Addressing shareholders at the group’s agm in Dublin yesterday, chairman Peter Gray said that the option of taking a dual listing, here, “will be kept under review”.

Mr Gray also calmed shareholder concerns by saying management isn’t planning a share buyback programme, even though a resolution to give it that option was passed.

The company last embarked on a buyback programme two years ago, when it purchased five million shares. Mr Gray said such a move is not considered general policy.

A first quarter update — monitoring the three-month performance to the end of December — showed trading has remained strong into the company’s current financial year, with revenues ahead on a year-on-year basis. It added that it expects full-year earnings per share to be up by between 5% and 8% in its current year, which runs to the end of September.

Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, United chief executive Liam FitzGerald said the company still has a strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities, adding that management could comfortably spend between €50m and €60m per year on purchases in the foreseeable future.

He also said Ireland remains a “very important” market for the company, but that its target of reaching an earnings contribution of 80% from overseas operations should be reached before the previous 2015 time estimate.


More in this Section

Battle of big forces at Ryanair

More public investment needed for Cork to thrive

Too early to tell whether prices and wages will rise

Little room for hot air in energy debate


Breaking Stories

IT sector sees 56% rise in employment figures over five years

Hotels want taxis to be allowed use College Green

Betting on Apple shares in 1980s was a very long shot

Warm autumn slows sales at Zara owner Inditex

Lifestyle

Wishlist: Must-have Christmas gifts and the joy of Ikea

Timing is everything as The Frank and Walters revisit 'Grand Parade'

A question of taste: Eileen O'Shea

Eoghan O'Sullivan's picks his highlights of 2017

More From The Irish Examiner