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Weaker rand boosts Netcare profit

May 19 2014 13:14
Reuters
Johannesburg - Netcare, SA's number three private hospital group, reported a 20% rise in first-half profit on Monday, thanks to a weaker rand and strong local demand.

Netcare, which also runs one of Britain's largest private hospital networks, said adjusted headline earnings per share totalled 76 cents in the six months to end-March, compared with 63.5c a year earlier.

Headline earnings per share (EPS) strips out certain one-off and non-trading items.

Netcare said sales rose 17.3% to R15.4bn with currency conversion accounting for 11.2%, or R1.4bn, to the increase.

While demand for private healthcare is increasing in South Africa thanks to a fast-growing middle class, tentative economic growth in the United Kingdom has led to a drop in the number of Britons with private medical insurance.

"The demand for private healthcare within South Africa is expected to remain strong," Netcare said. "We remain optimistic about the medium and longer term prospects of the UK business."

Netcare lifted its half-year dividend by 18.5% to 32c per share.

Shares in the company, which are up about 6% so far this year, gained 3.7% to R26.60 by midday trade.

netcare  |  health  |  investment
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