Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare said its first-quarter pretax profit was higher than a year earlier, boosted by gains from its recent acquisitions and growth across its businesses. 

The company provides outsourced sales and marketing, drug distribution and packaging services to healthcare companies.

It forecast that its full-year adjusted earnings per share will be 4-6% percent higher compared with the 45.9 cents it reported in 2018. 

All estimates are on a constant currency basis, the company said. 

In a trading update for the three months to December 31, UDG Healthcare reported a good start to its financial year on the back of good underlying growth supplemented by the impact of acquisitions completed during the year. 

"The Group's strong balance sheet leaves it well placed to make further strategic acquisitions as those opportunities arise, complementing its continued underlying profit growth," the company added.

UDG said that operating profits at its Ashfield division was ahead of the same quarter last year. 

It added that operating profits at its Sharp business was also significantly ahead of the same quarter last year, due to continued strong momentum in the US.

The company is holding its AGM in Dublin today.