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Sigma says FY2019 outlook more positive

Trevor Chappell  |  07 Sep 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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MELBOURNE - [AAP] Pharmacies and drug supplier Sigma Healthcare (ASX: SIG) says the outlook for fiscal 2019 is more positive after a challenging first half in the current fiscal year.

Sigma has lifted its half-year net profit the six months to July 31 by 17.4 per cent to $27.8 million, but sales fell amid challenging industry conditions.

Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 8.7 per cent.

Sigma said sales were impacted by a pull-back in sales of low-margin Hepatitis C medicines and softer consumer sentiment.

Adjusting for the lower Hep C sales, sales revenue was down 1.4 per cent.

Chief executive Mark Hooper says a number of factors point to a more positive outlook for fiscal 2019.

"The signs are good that momentum is swinging back in our favour," Mr Hooper said in statement on Thursday.

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"This is supported by a combination of our pipeline of pharmacy brand members, service improvements and efficiency gains from Project Renew and the opening of our Berrinba distribution centre in Queensland, along with the ramp-up of new service contracts in hospitals and logistics."

Sigma confirmed its guidance, provided on August 11, of underlying EBIT of $90 million for the full 2018 fiscal year.

It also has agreed to buy dose administration services provider Medication Packaging Systems (MPS) for $18.5 million.

Mr Hooper said the acquisition fits in with the company's strategy of becoming a broader healthcare company and MPS provided another avenue of growth.


* Half-year net profit up 17.4pct to 27.8m

* Sales revenue down 6.1pct to $2.02bn

* Interim dividend maintained at 2.5 cents, fully franked


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