Perrigo pushes forward with Ireland expansion as sales, earnings lag

Last October, as part of a plan to cut down on costs and evade hostile suitor Mylan, Perrigo said it would be focusing its operations in Ireland. And even with Mylan now out of the picture, the company is taking another step in that direction.

On Friday, Perrigo ($PRGO)--a Michigan company that moved its tax base to Dublin with 2013's buyout of Elan--announced it would be relocating several key corporate functions to Ireland and adding positions there in areas such as supply chain, procurement, enterprise risk management and corporate finance. As part of the shift, it'll send its VP of investor relations and its VP corporate treasurer overseas to "better support our international expansion," it said.

The moves follow up on the blueprints Perrigo laid out in October during the Mylan ($MYL) takeover battle, which included slashing 800 workers, paring down its organizational structure to cut out redundancies, selling off its U.S. vitamins, minerals and supplements business and kicking off a $2 billion share buyback plan. At the time, it said consolidating its operations into just one Ireland-based center would eliminate overlap and enhance its purchasing power.

Now, though, the company has extra reason to home in on Europe. Thursday, it announced sales and earnings numbers that missed analyst forecasts, and it took its 2016 earnings outlook down a notch, too. It had slow OTC sales to thank, in part, for the disappointing performance, with its newest purchase--Belgium's Omega Pharma--off to a slow start.

Perrigo CEO Joseph Papa

But CEO Joseph Papa, for one, is confident that expanding its Irish footprint will help the company kick-start things in Europe. "The enhancement of our Irish operations furthers the benefits of our global platform and will enable us to drive continued strong profit growth and enhance shareholder value," he said in a statement.

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