* Expects EPS to grow 5-9 pct vs prior view of 2-5 pct
* Sees KnowledgePoint360 revenue of $100 mln, EBITDA of $16
mln a year
* Ashfield first-half operating profit rises 36 pct
* Shares rise as much as 3.25 pct
(Adds CEO comments; updates share movement)
May 14 Healthcare services provider UDG
Healthcare Plc raised its full-year earnings per share
growth forecast as it expects the recent acquisition of
KnowledgePoint360 to boost its commercial and medical services
The company, which provides outsourced sales and marketing,
drug distribution and packaging services to healthcare
companies, now expects adjusted EPS to grow 5-9 percent on a
constant-currency basis, compared with its prior forecast of a
2-5 percent growth.
Shares in the company rose 3.25 percent in early trade,
pushing the stock into the list of top percentage gainers on the
FTSE-250 Midcap Index.
UDG Healthcare, earlier known as United Drug, bought
healthcare communications business KnowledgePoint360 for $144
million in late February to expand in the United States and
The company said adjusted operating profit rose 2 percent to
45.0 million euros ($62 million) in the six months ended March
This growth was driven by a 36 percent jump in operating
profit at its Ashfield Commercial and Medical Services division,
which houses KnowledgePoint360.
"We are encouraged by the performance of Ashfield which we
estimate will be the group's largest profit contributor from
H214 onwards," Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst David O'Brien said
in a note.
Ashfield division provides sales teams, telesales, nurse
educators, medical information, healthcare communications and
event management services to healthcare companies in 22
UDG Healthcare Chief Executive Liam FitzGerald told Reuters
that he expects KnowledgePoint360 to bring in revenue of $100
million and EBITDA of about $16 million a year.
KnowledgePoint360 was UDG Healthcare's biggest acquisition.
"Given the size of the KnowledgePoint360 deal, there will be
a period of consolidation now before we look to grow the
business through acquisitions in the future," Fitzgerald added.
KnowledgePoint360 provides medical education, publication
support and scientific content development to global
Revenue rose 2.34 percent to 1.04 billion euros in the six
months ended March 31, the company said.
Davy Research analyst Jack Gorman said in a note to clients
that the addition of KnowledgePoint360 should ensure strong
earnings acceleration for the company in the second half of the
Shares in UDG Healthcare were up 1.8 percent at 366.7 pence
at 1050 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. The stock has nearly
doubled in value since the company delisted from the Irish Stock
Exchange in late 2012.
($1 = 0.7296 Euros)
(Reporting by Roshni Menon in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair
and Don Sebastian)