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Uniphar PLC (UPR)

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Monday 23 March, 2020

Uniphar PLC

Update on Covid-19

RNS Number : 1157H
Uniphar PLC
23 March 2020

Uniphar plc


Update on COVID-19


Dublin, London | 23 March 2020: Uniphar plc (the "Group") an international diversified healthcare services business servicing the requirements of more than 200 multinational pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers today provides an update on the Group's response to COVID-19, in advance of its full year results release this Friday 27 March 2020.


Business Update


We are taking all necessary measures to safeguard the wellbeing of our staff, while ensuring all healthcare stakeholders continue to receive both the medicinal and medical device products they urgently need.


The business performance of the Group is ahead of our expectations year to date and there has been limited disruption to our business up to now. In the last 20 days, we have seen a significant spike in demand across all of our three divisions as Government and the wider healthcare sector ramp up preparations to deal with the forecasted increase in COVID-19 patients across Europe in the coming weeks.


Our non-operational staff are currently working successfully from home, utilising the Group's significant IT and digital platforms. We are working closely with our upstream and downstream partners, including government bodies and state agencies to ensure that the essential services we provide continue to operate to the highest service levels possible throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 


As we prepare for the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the next 12 weeks, we expect to continue to see increased volumes across the Group, with likely increases in cost to serve as we invest in additional resources to manage significantly higher volumes, while at the same time dealing with reduced availability of manpower due to potential sick leave or self-isolation/quarantine situations arising. Due to reprioritisation of resources within hospitals and other healthcare facilities we are preparing for a possible delay in medical device revenue, if certain 'non-urgent' elective surgeries have to be postponed. The net impact of a 3 month disruption, should it occur, could result in a reduction of 2020 EBITDA in the region of €5m. We would, however, expect that this would be recovered in future periods as and when healthcare systems return to normal.


Liquidity & Funding


The Group has a strong capital structure in place with significant cash resources available. At the year-end 31 December 2019, we held a net cash position of €26m, made up of €116m of cash and cash equivalents and €90m of bank debt. In addition to this, we have undrawn committed and uncommitted facilities of circa €55m.


The strong net cash position achieved at year end of €26m was achieved by releasing €68m of cash from working capital by selling our supply chain debtors' book on a non-recourse basis, which added to an exceptionally strong cash conversion for the year.




As a Board we continue to track the evolving market environment very closely and will provide further updates as appropriate.


The Group expects to publish its final results for the year ended 31 December 2019 at 07:00 am (GMT) on Friday 27 March 2020, which will include further detail on Uniphar's response to COVID-19.  A conference call for analysts and investors will be held at 9.00 am (GMT) on the day to discuss the Group's final results. Analysts and investors who wish to participate should visit  to register. 

Ger Rabbette, Uniphar Group Chief Executive Officer said:


" We are closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 situation. Uniphar is cognisant of the vital role our organisation plays in the healthcare ecosystem, and our significant responsibilities, in terms of maintaining continuity in the supply and distribution of much needed medicines, medical devices and related services. Meeting the needs of patients is at the core of what we do and our staff are responding to the significant challenge presented by COVID-19 with exemplary innovation, resilience and dedication. We are focused on the key role our organisation plays in ensuring patients have access to lifesaving medicines, and on anticipating and overcoming the challenges which face us all in the coming weeks and months."





--- Ends ---


For further details contact:


+353 (0) 1 428 7777



Brian O'Shaughnessy


Group Director of Corporate Development

[email protected]




+353 (0) 1 679 6363

(Joint Broker, Nominated Adviser and Euronext

Growth Adviser)




Fergal Meegan


Barry Murphy


Tom Tynan




RBC Capital Markets (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7653 4000



Darrell Uden


Jonathan Hardy


Jamil Miah





+353 (0) 1 475 1444 or

(Public Relations Adviser to Uniphar)

+353 87 235 6461



Iarla Mongey




About Uniphar plc 



Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Uniphar plc is an international diversified healthcare services business servicing the requirements of more than 200 multinational pharmaceutical and medical technology manufacturers across three divisions - Commercial & Clinical, Product Access and Supply Chain & Retail. With a workforce of more than 2,200, the Group is active in Ireland, the UK, the Benelux, the Nordics and the US.


The Company's vision is to improve patient access to pharmaco-medical products and treatments by enhancing connectivity between manufacturers and healthcare stakeholders. Uniphar represents a strong combination of scale, growth and profitability.


Commercial & Clinical 

In Commercial & Clinical the Group provides sales, marketing & distribution solutions to multinational pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers on an outsourced basis. Active in Ireland, the UK, the Benelux and the Nordics, the Group is growing with clients to provide pan-European solutions. Uniphar have built a fully integrated multi-channel solution that is supported by highly experienced, clinically trained teams to deliver exceptional outcomes for all clients.



Product Access 

In Product Access the Group is growing two distinct service offerings: 1) "On-Demand Access", which are pharmacy led solutions for sourcing and supplying unlicensed medicines to meet the needs of both retail and hospital pharmacists; and 2) "Exclusive Access", which are manufacturer led solutions for controlling the release of speciality medicines for specifically approved patient populations in agreed markets. The Group currently delivers product access solutions to more than 160 markets globally.


Supply Chain & Retail 

Uniphar is an established market leader in Ireland with c50% supply chain market share supported by a network of 287 owned, franchised and symbol group pharmacies. The business supports the diverse customer base through the provision of strong service levels coupled with innovative commercial initiatives. Supply Chain & Retail is an Irish only business for the Group, although the assets and infrastructure are utilised for the benefit of the growth divisions.



Cautionary statement


This announcement contains certain projections and other forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, businesses and prospects of Uniphar plc. These statements are based on current expectations and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors which could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these projections and forward-looking statements. Any of the assumptions underlying these projections and forward-looking statements could prove inaccurate or incorrect and therefore any results contemplated in the projections and forward-looking statements may not actually be achieved. Recipients are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any projections and forward-looking statements contained herein. Except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority, Uniphar plc undertakes no obligation to update or revise (publicly or otherwise) any projection or forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or other circumstances.



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