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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

NMC Health reports 22% profit rise for H1, driven by acquisitions

The group sees growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia and global demand for fertility treatment

London-listed NMC Health posted a 22 per cent rise in annual net profit for the first six months of 2018, driven by an ongoing acquisition spree and rising demand for healthcare. Ravindranath K / The National
London-listed NMC Health posted a 22 per cent rise in annual net profit for the first six months of 2018, driven by an ongoing acquisition spree and rising demand for healthcare. Ravindranath K / The National

NMC Health, which joined the UK’s FTSE 100 list of companies last September, posted a 22 per cent rise in first-half net profit, driven by a string of acquisitions and strong overall performance.

Adjusted net profit for the six months to June rose to $141.4 million (Dh519m) from $115.8m in the corresponding period of 2017, the company said on Monday in a filing to the London Stock Exchange. One analyst polled by Bloomberg had forecast net profit of $185m for the period.

Revenues grew 20.2 per cent year-on-year to $932m, and earnings per share rose 30.8 per cent to $0.561.The company did not supply quarterly financial results.

“The first half of 2018 saw NMC continue to demonstrate strong organic growth alongside complementary acquisitions, resulting in the realisation of improved financial results which more fully reflect the effect of previous integration and revenue enhancing activities,” said Prasanth Manghat, chief executive of NMC.

“We see continuing good growth potential across different parts of the group in 2019 and beyond and remain confident in the long-term prospects of the business as we enter the second half of 2018.”

NMC, which went on a $600m-plus acquisition spree last year, has continued purchasing new assets in 2018. It acquired controlling stakes in two healthcare operators in the GCC, the UAE’s CosmeSurge and Al Salam Medical Group in Riyadh, for a combined investment of $207m.

A rapid expansion of CosmeSurge’s clinics alongside NMC’s existing healthcare network “is anticipated to substantially boost growth and margin profile at the acquired entity”, NMC said in its bourse filing on Monday.

The February acquisition of Chronic Care Specialist Medical Centre, a Saudi-based long-term care facility, and an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to manage its healthcare facilities, also will boost NMC’s bottom line, it said.

Looking forward, an agreement in July for a joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s Hassana Investment Company, a unit of General Organisation for Social Insurance pension fund (Gosi), is expected to provide 1,489 hospital beds in Riyadh, "providing an exciting platform from which our Saudi Arabian business will be grown further", Mr Manghat said.

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Hospital bed occupancy rates reached 69.9 per cent, an increase of 80 basis points from the year-earlier period, while operational beds increased 35.5. per cent to 1,530 beds. The healthcare division continues to be the primary driver of growth for NMC with revenues up by 25.8 per cent year-on-year to $706m for the six-month period, the financial statements showed. The long-term and home-care segment recorded a 5 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue per patient to $19,957.

Revenue per patient for the multi-speciality segment increased 8 per cent to $146.2, and the maternity and fertility vertical saw a 14 per cent increase to $1,072.6. The group has been highly acquisitive in the fertility treatment space, having snapped up controlling stakes in Italian IVF clinic Centro Riproduzione E Andrologia in May, and Eugin Sweden in June, among others.

In July, NMC founder and chairman BR Shetty told The National the group has a $2bn investment pot for the years ahead that includes debt, balance sheet and reserve financing. The group launched a $450m bond offering in April, and in March said it raised a $2bn loan for general corporate purposes and partly to refinance existing debt.

“The group’s new financing arrangements, with varying debt term dates spread into the longer term, provide a very strong financial base from which to continue to grow the business,” Mr Manghat said on Monday.

The issuance of the $450m convertible bond has added a new source of funding for NMC and represents the first step in the realigning of the group’s balance sheet, in line with its status since last September as a member of the UK FTSE 100 index’s list of companies with the highest market capitalisation, the chief executive said.

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