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Alliance UniChem FY profit rises

Healthcare giant Alliance UniChem pulled out a healthy set of full year earnings and is confident about future trading.

The group, which plans to merger with high street chemist Boots, said pre-tax profit climbed to £278.9m for the year ended 31 December 2005 £253m the same time a year before. Sales rose to £9.2bn from £8.9bn. A dividend of 20.5p has been offered for the period, up 10.8%.

Alliance UniChem said a strong contribution from retail pharmacy helped earnings, as did continued expansion, including its foray into the Russian pharmaceutical wholesale market through the acquisition of a 96% controlling stake in AP Apteka.

The group's wholesale division performed well in relatively difficult market conditions, it said.

"Our focus on improving the performance of all our businesses, together with the initiatives that we are taking to drive growth and our opportunities for expansion both organically and through acquisition, make us confident about our commercial and financial prospects," said chief executive Ian Meakins.

Source:  Life Style Extra

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