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.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Ireland ‘losing its lure’ for overseas workers

Supermac’s in second bid to win forecourt approval

High stakes clash for nutrition company Herbalife

Retail stores under strain


Breaking Stories

Lifestyle

James Nesbitt and Hermione Norris on why the time is right for the return of Cold Feet

Get a Fair Deal with costs of care homes for elderly

Pablo Escobar’s life on the line in Narcos season two

How to buy the perfect laptop for college

More From The Irish Examiner