While COVID-19 resulted in “lower foot traffic” to Lloydspharmacy’s branches in the UK, the acquisition of Echo in 2019 was “timely” because it helped the company “meet customer demands” during the pandemic, McKesson CEO Brian Tyler said during a conference call last week (August 3).
The call was held to discuss the company’s financial results for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
McKesson executive vice president and chief financial officer Britt Vitalone, who was also on the call, said that “revenues from our Echo business grew over 300% from pre-pandemic levels and continue on a strong growth trajectory”.
“Severity” of COVID-19 impact
Mr Tyler added that the company’s “investment in our digital health care strategy in the UK has helped position the business to benefit from movement of patients to home and to omnichannel services”, following the acquisition of Echo in June last year.
The “restructuring actions” that the company last month announced within its UK business were a result of the “severity of the COVID-19 impact” and the need to “adapt to the difficult and evolving operating environment” the pandemic has created, Mr Vitalone said.
At the time of making the announcement, McKesson said the restructuring “regrettably means that some roles may be placed at risk of redundancy”, although it was not clear whether pharmacists and pharmacy technicians would be among those affected.
The restructuring actions are being taken “to continue to better position the business for future profitability”, Mr Vitalone said last week.
Mr Tyler said the McKesson group is “encouraged” by the financial results it reported across its European business in the first quarter of 2020-21 – for which the company reported a 3% profit growth that was “partially offset” by the pandemic.
Last week (August 5) a McKesson UK spokesperson told C+D that the multiple is planning to close a “small number” of community pharmacies following pressure from factors including COVID-19.