Abu Dhabi, UAE: Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health reported increased profits as outpatient numbers surged.
The group’s first half net profit grew 26.6 per cent to US$40.9 million, as net debt also grew by 56.4 per cent to $99.6m. Cash and cash equivalents touched $227.5m, declining by 15.3 per cent.
Occupancy at its hospitals reached 70 per cent, up from 63.6 per cent, as the group added 16 beds in the period to touch 277. The revenue per patient increased marginally by 1.6 per cent to $113.8.
In the first six months, it hired 39 doctors, taking the total number of physicians to 542.
“We expect around 400 physicians will be needed in total over the next five years,” said an NMC spokesman.
The introduction of mandatory health insurance in Dubai is also expected to make a positive impact on the group’s performance in the second half of the year, mostly in the lower income category, he said.
Driven by demand at its Dubai, Al Ain and Sharjah facilities, the number of inpatients across the group rose by 12 per cent to 21,047 while 1.13 million outpatients visited its facilities, a rise of 13.7 per cent.
The London-listed group nearly doubled its total capital expenditure to $60.8m as work continued on hospitals in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
In July, the group opened Brightpoint Women’s Hospital with 60 beds and the smaller NMC Dubai Investment Park General Hospital with 30 beds.
It expects to open its delayed $7m Al Ain Medical Centre be the end of the year. The 250-bed, $200m Khalifa City Hospital, which aims to tap into the growing population in Mussafah, Baniyas and Shahama, is expected to be ready in the first half of next year with 75 beds in the first phase. The number of physicians in the UAE is lower than in Qatar, Oman and Kuwait at 1.5 per 1,000 people, according to a report from Colliers International last year.
NMC’s group revenues increased by 15.1 per cent year-on-year to $314.3m, of which the healthcare division contributed $160.9m.
The results were in line with analyst expectations.
NMC shares were trading unchanged from the previous close, in afternoon London trade yesterday.
© The NationalAug 2014