Ebos Group says its first-half profit has more than tripled after acquiring Australian drug wholesaler and distributor Symbion.
Profit was $NZ49.9 million ($A46.36 million) in the six months to December 31, up from about $NZ15 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sales jumped to $NZ3 billion from $NZ755 million.
Ebos had forecast a profit of $NZ48.7m on sales of $NZ3.17b at its annual meeting in October.
Last year’s $NZ1.1b purchase of Symbion was a game-changer for Ebos, more than tripling annual revenue in a deal that gave Symbion’s owner, Zuellig Group, a cornerstone 40 per cent stake in the New Zealand business and adding to the Hong Kong-based group’s 30 stake in chemist chain PharmacyBrands.
The company has grown to include medical products distribution, pet products and now pharmaceuticals with 19 acquisitions in 12 years.
Ebos Chairman Rick Christie will retire at the company’s annual meeting in October after 10 years in the role and will be replaced by the company’s chief executive Mark Waller. In turn, Mr Waller will be replaced by Symbian CEO Patrick Davies.
Ebos chief financial officer Dennis Doherty, who held off retiring pending the Symbion purchase, will be replaced by Symbion’s CFO John Cullity.
Ebos will pay a first-half dividend of 20.5 NZ cents a share.
The company operates as two main divisions, healthcare and animal care. In the first half, revenue from healthcare soared to $NZ2.8b from $NZ673m a year earlier, reflecting revenue from Symbion, while profit climbed to $NZ52.2m from $NZ12.8m.
Animal care, made up of the Procter & Gamble pet care, Eukanuba and IAMS pet food, and the Vitapet grocery brands acquired with the 2011 acquisition of Masterpet Group for $NZ105m plus debt, lifted sales to $NZ177m from $NZ81m and profit rose to $NZ9.5m from $NZ6.4m.
The company said it assessed “a number of acquisition opportunities” in the first half though none had met its shareholder returns criteria.
With the addition of Symbion, Ebos got $NZA2.09b of its revenue across the Tasman, while New Zealand sales accounted for $NZ649.6m.
Profit from Australia was $NZA41.7m and from New Zealand was $NZ14.8m.