StockMarketWire.com - Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare said it had acquired two consultancy groups for up to a combined $106.3m.

The company also posted a rise in first-half profit for the six months through March to $30.3m, up from $1.7m on-year.

The two businesses were acquired by UDG's Ashfield Communications and Advisory business.

The included Putnam Associates, a US-based strategic management healthcare consultancy, for up to $88.6m.

The second business purchased was Incisive Health, a UK-based healthcare policy and communications consultancy, for up to £13.6m ($17.7m).

'Putnam strengthens our growing advisory pillar in the US, adding significant expertise in product commercialisation, pricing, reimbursement and market access strategy,' chief executive Brendan McAtamney said.

'Incisive Health adds specialist capability in the growing area of public health advocacy, supporting clients to secure market access for their brands, in addition to wider communications services.'

'Both transactions are a good strategic and cultural fit, meet our target financial hurdle rates and further expand our current capabilities.'

UDG's rise in first-half profit came despite revenue falling 3% to $656.6m.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 2% to $64.5m.

The company declared an interim dividend of 4.46c per share, up 5% on-year.

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