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Life Healthcare profit misses forecasts

Nov 16 2012 10:19
Reuters
Johannesburg -  No 2 private hospital group Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] fell short of market expectations for its full-year profit on Friday, after it wrote down the value of a business.

Life Healthcare said diluted headline earnings rose 18% in the year to end-September, to 141 cents per share, below the average estimate of 144c in a Thomson Reuters poll of nine analysts.

Headline EPS, the primary profit gauge in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

The company's rehabilitation and mental health unit reported lower profit due to a writedown at one of its hospitals.

Shares in Life Healthcare dropped 3.6% to R32 by 09:29, lagging behind a slightly lower JSE All-share index.   

Demand for private healthcare is increasing in South Africa as a fast-growing middle class take up medical insurance. Life Healthcare said revenue increased 11.5% to R11bn.

Shares in the company are up about 60% so far this year, outpacing a 15% gain the JSE All-share index  over the same period.

Larger Rival Mediclinic International [JSE:MDC] reported a 45% surge in first-half profit, helped by a robust showing in its South African business. Netcare, which has flagged as much as 20% drop in full-year profit, is due to report next week.

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