StockMarketWire.com - Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare upgraded its annual earnings guidance as improving margins in the first half helped offset weaker revenue.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March rose 5% to $65.1 million, up from $62.3 million year-on-year, even as revenue fell 5% to $661.4 million.

For the full year, UDG forecast constant currency adjusted diluted earnings per share growth of between 10% and 12%, up from previous guidance of 9-11%.

Currency adjusted operating profit growth was expected at 12-14% ahead of the $165.3 million year-on-year, up from 11-13% previously.

In the first half, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 8% and adjusted operating profit rose 10%.

The company did not declare an interim dividend.

'We are pleased to report another strong trading performance, predominantly driven by underlying operating profit growth across both Ashfield and Sharp, supplemented by the benefit of recent acquisitions,' chief executive Brendan McAtamney said.

'Looking ahead, our businesses remain resilient, supported by their market leading positions and compelling service offerings, underpinned by excellent long-term market fundamentals.'






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