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Medi-Clinic full-year profit flat

May 24 2011 16:34
Reuters

Johannesburg - South Africa's second-biggest hospital group Medi-Clinic Corporation [JSE:MDC] posted a flat full-year profit in line with consensus, as a robust performance at home was offset in part by the stronger rand.

Medi-Clinic, which also runs hospitals in Namibia, Switzerland and the Middle East, said on Tuesday diluted headline earnings per share totalled 176.3 cents in the year to end-March from 172c a year earlier.

A Reuters poll of six analysts had expected headline EPS to be 176c.

While demand for private healthcare has increased in South Africa due to a rising middle class, Medi-Clinic faces stiff competition in its home market from rivals Life Healthcare Group Holdings [JSE:LHC] and Netcare [JSE:NTC].

The company has said it sees fewer growth opportunities in the Africa's biggest economy. Last year it launched a R1.4bn rights issue to help fund expansion in Switzerland, where it runs the biggest private hospital group.

Medi-Clinic said revenue rose 9% to R18.6bn with its southern African unit, lifting sales by 12% while the unfavourable currency swings hit revenue from its Swiss and Middle Eastern businesses

A stronger rand eats into overseas profits when those earnings are brought home.

Shares in Medi-Clinic, which are little changed so far this year, were up 1.45% at R29.31 by 12:26 GMT on Tuesday, outpacing rivals Netcare, which inched up 0.43%, and Life Healthcare, which lost 1.05%.

 

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