Abu Dhabi's NMC Health lifts profit thanks to new acquisitions

Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health reported a 10.6 per cent jump in net profit to US$85.8 million last year as it added patients on the back of acquisitions and new hospitals.

Revenues touched $880.9m, a 36.8 per cent rise over 2014.

The London-listed group increased its bed count to 537 at the end of last year from 287 beds in 2014, an 87.1 per cent increase.

It also recruited more doctors and had 817 physicians at the end of last year, an increase of 35.5 per cent year-on-year.

NMC’s net profit margin declined to 9.7 per cent as it acquired businesses and added new facilities. Its net cash inflow from operating activities declined to $84.1m last year, compared with $85.7m in 2014, attributed to working capital requirements. It had cash of $177.4m at the end of last year, down from $263.2m at the end of 2014.

The results were in line with expectations, according to ­Asjad Yahya, an analyst at Shuaa Capital, the Dubai-based investment bank. “NMC remains my preferred pick in the [Arabian Gulf] healthcare sector,” he said.

NMC shares were trading at £9.53 around 4pm UAE time, up 4.84 per cent from last week’s close.

NMC opened Brightpoint ­Royal Women’s Hospital in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, in September and started accepting inpatients this month.

Last year, it spent $429m on acquisitions, including the Clin­ica Eugin fertility centre in Spain and the Biogenesi repro­ductive medicine centre in Italy. It also acquired the long-term healthcare provider ProVita, Dr Sunny Healthcare clinics, home care company Americare and pharma distributor Trans Arabia Drug Store.

“For the local healthcare sector, the key accelerating driver of growth will be the ongoing adoption of mandatory healthcare insurance in Dubai and the expected increase in covered patient rising from 1 million to 3 million according to Dubai Healthcare Authority,” said BR Shetty, the chief executive of NMC.

“We expect strong growth coming from our enlarged network, its growing [specialisations] and the introduction of higher value-added services.”

The group operates eight hospitals, two day care centres, nine clinics and 15 pharmacies. It also owns a 51 per cent stake in Fakih IVF.

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