Annual Report and Accounts 2014


Operating Review - DCC Healthcare

DCC Healthcare is focussed on the sales, marketing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the British and Irish markets and the provision of outsourced product development, manufacturing, packing and other services to Health and Beauty brand owners, principally in the areas of nutrition and beauty products.

Markets and Market Position+-

DCC Vital

DCC Vital sells, markets and distributes a broad range of third party and own-branded products (including pharmaceuticals, medical, surgical and laboratory products) through its specialist field sales teams. DCC Vital is also a leading provider of value added logistics services in Britain, providing innovative stock management and distribution services to hospitals and healthcare brand owners/manufacturers, focussed principally on theatre products. DCC Vital works with leading pharma companies such as Actavis, Cipla, Fresenius Kabi, Grifols, Hikma, Martindale Pharma, Medac, Rosemont, Sandoz and Teva as well as representing leading medical, surgical and scientific brands including BioRad, Diagnostica Stago, ICU Medical, Mölnlycke, Oxoid and Smiths Medical.

DCC Vital sells, markets and distributes innovative and generic pharma products in Britain and Ireland through the hospital, retail pharmacy and homecare channels and has extensive market coverage into these channels. DCC Vital’s portfolio of pharmaceuticals encompasses a range of therapy areas including oncology, antibiotics, anaesthesia, pain management, haematology, respiratory, addiction and emergency medicine. DCC Vital has a substantial pharma business with aggregate revenues of approximately £100 million and a leading position in the British generics market.

DCC Vital has been active in the pharmaceutical market since 2002, initially focussed on intravenous hospital products. Following the acquisitions in recent years of Kent Pharma (February 2013) and Neolab (May 2011), DCC Vital now also has a strong presence in the retail pharmacy channel. At the time of acquisition, Neolab was a small British generic pharma business with a focus on pharma products particularly those in the respiratory therapy area. Similarly, Kent Pharma was a leading provider of generic pharma products to the British market. Kent brought a highly complementary product and product licence portfolio to DCC Vital. The Kent portfolio of own licensed products has a particular focus on beta lactam antibiotics including penicillin V, flucloxacillin and amoxicillin, which are long established antibiotics typically used to treat bacterial infections such as throat, ear and respiratory tract infections. Today, DCC Vital’s pharma business remains the market leader in these products in Britain, which are manufactured in its own specialist beta lactam manufacturing facility located in Roscommon, Ireland.

DCC Vital also provides outsourced pharma compounding services to hospitals in Ireland, through its licensed compounding facility in Dublin, which is involved in the aseptic filling of oncology, pain management, antibiotic and paediatric nutrition products into patient ready dosage forms i.e. syringes or IV bags.

DCC Vital has a leading position in the sales, marketing and distribution of medical devices into hospitals in Ireland and Britain with an extensive, highly trained field sales force and strong relationships with senior management, clinicians and procurement professionals. DCC Vital sells and markets a broad range of medical devices and consumables in areas such as wound care, urology, procedure packs, critical care (anaesthesia, endovascular, cardiology, and IV access), diagnostics, orthopaedics and neurology. Products are typically single use/consumable in nature. Capital equipment represents a small element of total sales and typically relates to generating sales of consumable products, for example the sale (or placing) of diagnostic testing equipment in order to drive sales of the consumable test kits used in the equipment. The business is building a significant position in the medical devices sector in Britain which was enhanced in the year by the acquisition of Leonhard Lang UK (acquired in July 2013), the market leader in electrodes and diathermy consumables.

DCC Vital operates in the pharma and medical device markets which are primarily government funded. Fiscal budgets in Britain and Ireland have tightened and, in common with the majority of developed economies, the burden of care, particularly to support ageing populations, is growing. As a result, healthcare providers are increasing their focus on cost saving opportunities and value for money. Public and private healthcare payers and providers are leveraging procurement scale through increased use of tendering, framework agreements, reference pricing and generic pharmaceuticals. They are switching to equivalent quality, lower cost medical and pharma products as well as outsourcing activities deemed to be non-core. DCC Vital is well placed to benefit from these trends.

Competitors in this market sector include global healthcare companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Baxter as well as a large number of small and medium sized medical, surgical and pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. DCC Vital’s largest competitor in the Irish market is the medical and scientific business within UDG Healthcare plc, principally through a range of competing agencies. Competitors in the value-added distribution sector in Britain include NHS Supply Chain (operated by DHL Logistics) and Bunzl plc.

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions is one of Europe’s leading outsourced service providers to the health and beauty sector with a customer base across the continent serviced from our operations in Britain and Scandinavia. DCC Health & Beauty Solutions’ range of outsourced services is focussed principally on the areas of nutrition (vitamin and health supplements) and beauty products (skin care and bath and body care). The service offering encompasses product development, formulation, stability and other testing and regulatory compliance, as well as manufacturing and packing. In January 2014, DCC Health & Beauty Solutions further strengthened its business through the acquisition of Universal Products Manufacturing (Lytham) Limited (‘UPL’), a British contract manufacturer of creams and liquids. UPL develops, manufactures and packs a wide range of skincare, haircare and pharmaceutical products. DCC Health & Beauty Solutions is now one of the two leading British creams and liquids contract manufacturers for brand owners. The business operates six licensed manufacturing facilities (four in Britain and two in Sweden) and contract manufactures in a wide variety of product formats (tablets, soft gel and hard shell capsules, creams and liquids). The business continues to enhance its reputation and market share in Continental Europe, especially in Scandinavia, the Benelux region and Germany.

Consumer demand for nutrition and beauty products has been robust through the economic downturn with continued demand for product innovation. The trend for health and beauty brand owners to outsource non-sales and marketing activities (including product development) and to streamline their supply chains is a more important factor in driving demand in the contract manufacturing sector. There is also a trend towards increased regulation and higher manufacturing standards in the health and beauty sector. These trends are favouring well-funded contract manufacturers like DCC Health & Beauty Solutions which has the resources to invest in regulatory expertise and high quality facilities. Our main competitors include Catalent, Aenova, Brunel and Ayanda in nutrition and LF Beauty and Swallowfield in creams/liquids.


Strategy and Development+-

DCC Healthcare’s vision is to build a substantial healthcare business focussed on the pharma, medical device and health and beauty sectors.

DCC Vital

In pharma, the business is focussed on strengthening its market positions and expanding its product portfolio organically and through bolt on acquisitions. DCC Vital has a strong regulatory capability in the pharma area including product in-licensing quality control and assurance and pharmacovigilance. This capability, together with strength in sourcing and the uniformity of European Union product licensing regulations will open up opportunities for the business to extend its pharma activities into new geographic markets over the coming years.

In medical devices, the business is continually seeking to strengthen its market positions and develop its portfolio of products both organically and through bolt-on acquisitions. The medical devices market is increasingly polarising between high tech products in specialist therapy areas and value for money commodity products. DCC Vital seeks to attract quality specialist agencies while also selectively launching commodity products under its own brands.

The acquisitions of Forth Medical in 2012 and Leonhard Lang UK in 2013 increased the business’ sales and marketing capability in Britain, providing an enhanced platform for further development of its medical device portfolio in this territory.

During the year, DCC Healthcare disposed of Virtus Inc., a US based contract manufacturing business which supplies a range of finished surfaces for hospital beds and stretchers. The business was acquired by Hill Rom Manufacturing.

In logistics, DCC Vital is building a growth platform in Britain in the provision of stock management and distribution services, acting as a neutral wholesaler and providing services to both brand owners, hospitals and buying groups. DCC Vital believes that this is a potentially interesting growth sector as British acute care hospitals seek cost savings and operating efficiencies from customised just-in-time distribution solutions which reduce stock obsolescence and improve product availability.

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions has grown to become one of Europe’s leading outsourced service providers to the health and beauty sector. Its high quality facilities, together with the strength and depth of its business development, product development and technical resources, has enabled DCC Health & Beauty Solutions to build a reputation for providing a highly responsive and flexible service to its customers and for assisting customers in rapidly bringing new products from marketing concept through to finished, shelf-ready products. This service typically involves product development, formulation, stability and other testing and regulatory compliance, as well as manufacturing and packing. DCC will continue to leverage this capability across a broader customer base by expanding its European customer base both organically and by acquisition while also continuing to expand its service offering in related areas such as sports nutrition and OTC pharma. DCC has invested in increasing its capability in healthcare creams and liquids and the acquisition of UPL will accelerate the development in this area.


DCC Vital’s market coverage in pharma extends beyond the hospital sector into retail pharmacy, pharma wholesalers and the homecare channel, as well as international distributors. Kent Pharma provided DCC Vital with a broader platform and the integration of Kent and DCC Vital’s existing pharma business has strengthened the key account relationships with the major retail/wholesale pharmacy groups in Britain including Alliance Boots, Celesio, Phoenix and The Co-op.

DCC Vital has deep market coverage in the sales and distribution of medical devices into the hospital sector in Ireland and Britain and enjoys strong relationships with the HSE in Ireland, the NHS in Britain as well as individual acute care hospitals, procurement groups and private hospital groups.

DCC Vital’s British value added logistics services business services a broad customer base of brand owners, hospitals and procurement groups including Guys & St Thomas’s Hospital, the Sheffield Hospital Trust and HCA.

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions principally focuses on providing services to leading premium brand owners in the areas of nutrition (vitamin and health supplements) and beauty products (skin care and bath and body care). Other customers include mail order companies, specialist health and beauty retailers and private label suppliers in Britain, Continental Europe and other markets. The acquisition of UPL in January 2014 has strengthened DCC Healthcare’s presence in the beauty sector in both Britain and Europe, while the acquisition of Vitamex Manufacturing AB in June 2012 strengthened its presence in the broader European market in the nutritional arena. Today approximately half of the output from DCC’s facilities is consumed in international markets outside of Britain. As the lines between pharma and consumer healthcare become increasingly blurred in the market place, DCC Health & Beauty Solutions is strengthening its relationships with blue chip companies such as Apoteket, Merck, Omega Pharma, Oriflame and Unilever.

DCC Healthcare has a broad customer base and its ten largest customers account for approximately 29% of revenue in the year ended 31 March 2014.


DCC Vital works with leading innovative and generic pharma companies like Cipla, Fresenius Kabi, Grifols, Hikma, Martindale Pharma, Medac and Rosemont as well as having its own specialist manufacturing plant for beta lactam antibiotics in Ireland, which was acquired as part of the acquisition of Kent Pharma.

DCC Vital represents leading medical, surgical and scientific device brands including BioRad, Diagnostica Stago, ICU Medical, Mölnlycke, Oxoid and Smiths Medical.

DCC Vital’s British value added distribution services business has a very broad supplier/client base including Baxter, Covidien, Gambro, J&J and Mölnlycke.

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions sources from high quality raw materials and ingredient suppliers across the globe in order to provide its customers with high quality and cost effective solutions and is increasingly focussed on sourcing sustainability-certified raw materials, such as fish oils.

DCC Healthcare's supplier portfolio is broadly based with the top ten suppliers representing approximately 25% of revenue in the year ended 31 March 2014.

Our People+-

DCC Healthcare employs 1,777 people, principally based in Britain and Ireland, led by strong, entrepreneurial management teams. In DCC Vital, the senior management team has been further strengthened during the year, including the appointment of a new managing director to lead the next phase of expansion. Training and education is critical in the healthcare sector and DCC Healthcare continually invests in ensuring that its people are experts in their respective product or service areas and are fully conversant with the relevant regulatory frameworks within which the business operates. DCC Healthcare’s businesses continue to benefit from their ongoing participation in the DCC Graduate Programme.

Key Risks+-

DCC Healthcare operates in geographic markets where healthcare spending is predominantly funded (directly or indirectly) by governments. The economic downturn experienced over the last number of years has resulted in fiscal pressures and this has influenced governments’ healthcare budgets. DCC Healthcare’s competitive product portfolio, strength in generics, growing range of value for money own brand products and outsourced service offering mitigates this risk and indeed is providing DCC Healthcare with new growth opportunities.

Product quality and regulatory compliance are critical matters for DCC Healthcare - poor product quality could have consequences for customer or public safety. DCC Healthcare continually invests in its technical and regulatory resources, quality systems, staff training and facilities to ensure quality standards are consistently maintained and the requirements of the relevant regulatory authorities are met or surpassed. All DCC Healthcare’s manufacturing sites are licensed and subject to ongoing regular internal and external third party audit reviews.

DCC Healthcare trades with a very broad supplier and customer base and its constant focus on providing a value added service ensures excellent commercial relationships. Recent acquisitions, for example Kent Pharma, have included new sourcing relationships, an extended portfolio and greater customer reach. In the case of a very small number of key suppliers, principals and customers, their loss could have a serious operational and financial impact on the business.

Environment +-

DCC Healthcare is focussed on improving the environmental sustainability of its businesses and range of products and services. Customers increasingly monitor progress in this area. To this end DCC Health & Beauty Solutions has been focussed on minimising impacts in its supply chain operations through the procurement of sustainable ingredients such as fish oils certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and bee friendly borage, a high quality plant based source of the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (‘GLA’). At an operational level, minimising the use of process materials (for example butyl acetate), identification of reuse markets for waste streams and the implementation of energy efficiency projects have reduced environmental impacts.

Performance for the Year Ended 31 March 2014+-

DCC Healthcare achieved excellent operating profit growth across its two businesses, DCC Vital and DCC Health & Beauty Solutions. The division benefitted from acquisitions completed in the year under review and in the prior year and from very strong organic growth in DCC Health & Beauty Solutions.

DCC Vital, recorded strong profit growth driven by recent acquisition activity. DCC Vital completed the integration of Kent Pharma, combining the product portfolios and the commercial and regulatory teams, and realised the planned synergies. Kent Pharma achieved strong growth in the respiratory area while experiencing increased competitive pressures for certain antibiotic products. The pharma performance in Ireland was impacted by slower than projected growth in volumes in DCC Vital’s compounding activity as the National OPAT (Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy) service contract was rolled out.

DCC Vital achieved excellent growth in medical devices in Britain, with good organic growth augmented by the strong performance of Leonhard Lang UK, which was acquired in July 2013. Leonhard Lang UK is the market leading supplier of electrodes and diathermy consumables, under its own Skintact brand, to hospitals and emergency services in Britain. DCC Vital’s British value added logistics business performed satisfactorily with new customer wins on the back of continued market interest in its range of customised stock management and just-in-time logistics solutions for hospitals and manufacturers.

DCC Health & Beauty Solutions achieved very strong organic profit growth and benefitted from a first time contribution from UPL, acquired in January 2014. Excellent organic growth was achieved across both the nutrition (vitamins and health supplements) and beauty categories. The business benefitted from successful new product development for existing customers and from a number of new business wins, particularly in healthcare creams and liquids. The process of combining UPL with DCC Health & Beauty Solutions’ existing creams and liquids activities is under way and is enabling the business to offer customers enhanced product development, manufacturing and packing capability across its high quality, licensed facilities. DCC is now one of the two leading British creams and liquids contract manufacturers for brand owners. In the nutrition area, the planned process to integrate the Swedish tablet manufacturing operations into DCC’s larger tablet manufacturing facility in Britain has also commenced. The sales, development, customer service and regulatory teams in Sweden will remain in situ to service DCC Health & Beauty Solutions’ Scandinavian customer base.


DCC Healthcare: Key Financial Performance Indicators

Strategic objective



Drive for enhanced operational performance

Revenue growth


Drive for enhanced operational performance

Operating profit growth


Grow operating margin

Operating margin


Deliver superior shareholder returns

Return on capital employed


Generate cash flows to fund organic and acquisition growth and dividends

Operating cash flow


Deliver superior shareholder returns

10 year operating profit CAGR