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NMC prepares for new centre opening

NMC Healthcare, the London-listed Abu Dhabi based hospital operator, will open a new facility in the capital within days.

NMC Healthcare, the London-listed Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, will open a new facility in the capital within days.

The company suffered "final regulatory delays" with the new day patient centre in Mussafah, but NMC is now almost ready to open it.

The facility is one of several NMC centres under construction. It currently operates eight across the UAE.

Brightpoint Women's Hospital in Abu Dhabi, which will be the capital's first private maternity hospital offering a range of services from gynaecology to neonatology, is due to open in the third quarter.

Work to fit out Dubai Investment Park General Hospital, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, is also under way.

And construction groundwork is progressing at the site of the new Khalifa City Speciality Hospital, which is scheduled to open late next year.

All projects remain on budget, and all existing healthcare facilities started the year well, according to the company.

Group revenue at NMC was up 11 per cent in the first quarter to US$139 million.

Revenue in the healthcare division also rose by 11 per cent to $70.4m in the period.

Business was also up in the distribution division, where revenue increased by more than 10 per cent to $77.3m.

"We are trading in line with expectations so we are very happy," said Prasanth Manghat, the chief financial officer of NMC.

"In Q1 we have seen the business getting the benefit of the positive macroeconomic conditions of the UAE. We are very much buoyed that we will be able to grow in the year 2013 as we did in 2012," he added.

Healthcare occupancy rates increased to 64 per cent in the first three months of the year, compared with 55.7 per cent in the same period the previous year. The increase was despite a 13.5 per cent increase in the number of beds in the first quarter.

Dr BR Shetty, the chief executive of NMC, said the company made a strong start to the year.

"Occupancy levels in the healthcare division continue to increase driven by a strong demand for our services in the region. The distribution division continues to perform well in good macro-economic conditions in the UAE," he said.

The company said it did not expect that new rules to reduce the price of more than 6,600 different medicines in Abu Dhabi by up to 40 per cent would much affect its bottom line.

"We have undertaken an initial analysis of the effect that the Ministry of Health announcement may have on both the pharmacy and distribution businesses," said the management statement.

"Based on the relative sizes of both the distribution division and the pharmacy business, we expect that this new pricing structure will have a minimum effect."

 

gduncan@thenational.ae

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