Tony Evans at Christie & Co gives an overview on the pharmacy market and trends for 2022
Published: 07 March 2022
Sometimes it’s good to stop and catch up with some of the key people in the Healthcare world. In a series of interviews PDT’s James Clewlow took the opportunity to catch up with key professionals in the pharmacy sector. In this interview, James catches Tony Evans, Head of Pharmacy at Christie & Co, for an overview on the sector and trends for 2022.
James: Hi Tony, great to meet up. I know it’s been a challenging year across the pharmacy sector but what level of activity have you seen in the market?
Tony: Whilst contractors have continued to see challenges in operating their business under pandemic conditions, the market itself has performed strongly, buoyed by the heightened profile the sector has enjoyed in recognition of its vital role in supporting the NHS and the booster vaccination services. As a result, we saw a rise in buyer confidence leading to increased competition for those pharmacies that did come to market. At Christie & Co, we had our busiest year in a decade, completing sales for over 145 pharmacies and a resultant rise in our Price Indices of 4.3% compared to 2020.
James: Have there been any particular trends? – Is activity led from retirement sales, group activity or individuals adding to their existing portfolio?
Tony: Although the number of pharmacies on the market in the last year was still subdued compared with pre-COVID levels, we saw activity across all sale types. We have seen many operators coming to market as appetite improved, alongside continued disposals on behalf of group and corporate operates as they churn either non-performing or non-core assets within their estates. Encouragingly, interest has been generated across all sale types to include the return of many independent regional multiple operators looking to acquire again after having previously stepped back from the market in early 2019.
James: How do you think the market will respond this year? Are prices going to remain at current levels? Will there be a covid adjustment?
Tony: A month in to 2022, we are already seeing encouraging activity, well ahead of 2021 and 2020 and replicated pre-pandemic levels. That’s not to say that the market/sector doesn’t continue to face challenges, with the pharmacist resource being of particular concern to operators at present. Hopefully, some of the factors that have contributed to this issue are starting to subside albeit we do see affects continuing in the short-term. As a result, we anticipate that 2022 will mirror the activity seen in 2021. A theme of last year was increased appetite which, in turn, lead to competitive tension. As a result, on average, we generated circa five offers per pharmacy. Early signs for this year show this trend continuing.
James: How is Christie & Co growing this year? Any plans you can reveal?
Tony: As a company, we are invested in the sector for the long-term and, after what has been a challenging two years for all businesses, we are looking to expand our team in 2022, to extend our reach and services. In my 33 years with Christie & Co, we have always found that, to operate successfully in a sector, you need to provide local, regional, and national coverage. In expanding the team, we will continue to do this through our 13-strong office network across the UK.
Find out more
For more information on the UK pharmacy market, you can contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org
For advice on buying, selling or refinancing your pharmacy or healthcare business please contact the PDT Solicitors Healthcare Team. Ranked as a leading firm 2022 by The Legal 500 for our Healthcare work, we are recognised as leading legal advisers in the industry and offer an integrated, one stop approach for numerous contractors and pharmacy operators, from single shop owners to independent multiples throughout the UK.
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