Healthcare services group United Drug has said it expects its results for the first half of its financial year, which ends on March 31, to be lower than a year earlier.

In a trading statement ahead of its AGM, it said it had been affected by tough trading conditions and the weakness of sterling.

In particular, the company said parts of the business which depended on spending on premium cosmetics and consumer goods.

United also said it would take a once-off hit of around €10m in its full-year, linked to its restructuring programme.

Earlier this month the company said it was seeking to cut job numbers at its Irish businesses by just under 100 as part of a cost-saving programme which included around 300 job cuts across the group.

Shares in the company closed 52 cent lower at €1.91 in Dublin this evening - down 21%.