Adjusted operating profit for McKesson’s European pharmaceutical solutions division, which includes Lloydspharmacy and the wholesaler AAH, was $78 million (£63.8m) in the three months leading up to March 31, taking currency rates into account. This is a 239% increase on the same period last year, McKesson said in its latest financial report, published on Wednesday (May 20).
This growth was “driven in part by lower operating expenses as a result of actions previously taken to rationalise our store footprint and streamline back office functions and the lapping of a prior year inventory charge of approximately $20m (£16.4m)”, McKesson executive vice president and chief financial officer Britt Vitalone said.
Looking back over the past financial year, McKesson noted that adjusted operating profit for its European business was up 10% to $240m (£196.9m), once currency rates had been taken into account.
COVID-19 increased demand
Revenue across McKesson’s European business in the last quarter was $7.2bn (£5.9bn) – up 9% once currency rates were taken into account – “driven by growth in the pharmaceutical distribution business, including incremental revenue as a result of COVID-19”, Mr Vitalone added.
Shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, “pharmaceutical distribution volumes in the US, Europe and Canada increased, as people stocked up on medications and personal protective equipment”, he said.
This contributed to an increase in revenue in the last three months of the financial year. McKesson estimates that the demand for pharmaceuticals triggered by COVID-19 resulted in “approximately” $2billion (£1.6bn) in “incremental revenue” across the business, Mr Vitalone said.
Thanking frontline pharmacy teams
McKesson CEO Brian Tyler thanked the McKesson employees who are working on the frontline during the pandemic.
“I want to particularly recognise our colleagues, who are on our front lines, like those in our distribution centres, in our pharmacies in Canada and Europe… going the extra mile for our customers and rallying around one another in these times,” he said.