Former CRH boss joins UDG Healthcare

Former CRH chief executive Myles Lee has joined the board of UDG Healthcare in a non-executive capacity.

Mr Lee — who left the building materials giant in 2013 after six years as chief executive — joins the UDG board in early April.

UDG — formerly United Drug — yesterday said it made a good start to its current financial year, with acquisitions helping to boost operating profits for the first quarter, the three months to the end of December, “well ahead” of the same period last year.

Trading in the core Ashfield contract sales division was well up year-on-year, with Sharp — UDG’s US-based packaging business —moderately ahead in operating profit terms. Sharp is currently viewed as the group’s main growth driver.

Shares in the diversified healthcare services group jumped around 2% yesterday as it said it expects to see 13%-16% earnings per share growth for its current financial year.

In its latest trading update, UDG said it remains in a net cash position, which it added leaves it “well-positioned to continue its corporate development activities”.

However, UDG which now reports in dollars said it will likely face a foreign exchange headwind on the translation of its sterling profits this year.

Goodbody Stockbrokers said it would be upwardly adjusting its 2017 earnings per share forecast for UDG (the around 13% growth).

“Post [yesterday’s] update we reiterate our positive stance and we continue to believe in the organic and acquisitive opportunities which exist in the near and medium term,” said Goodbody’s David O’Brien.

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