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NTC - Netcare News Story

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UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Netcare to pay special dividend, FY earnings inch up

Mon 19th November, 2018 7:10am
(Adds details, shares)
    JOHANNESBURG, Nov 19 (Reuters) - South Africa's
second-largest private hospital firm Netcare Ltd  NTCJ.J 
announced on Monday a special dividend payout of 40 cents per
share after reporting a marginal rise in full-year earnings.
    Adjusted headline earnings per share inched up to 171.6
cents for the year ended September, compared with 170.6 cents
the previous year. Headline EPS is the main profit measure in
South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.
    Shares of Netcare rose 4.03 percent to 25.79 rand in early
trading.
    Netcare's 2018 financial year has been characterised by
significant changes to the group's operational profile.
    In South Africa, it secured competition approval for its
acquisition of Akeso Clinics, a mental healthcare provider,
while in the UK, it made a strategic decision to exit the market
and dispose of its interests in BMI Healthcare and GHG PropCo 2.
    "Netcare's disposal plan continues although no transaction
has yet been concluded," it said in its results booklet.
    Netcare said it booked a non-cash impairment of 1.3 billion
rand ($92.52 million) against the carrying value of its
contractual economic interest in the debt of Britain's BMI
Healthcare.
    Normalised group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 5.9 percent to 4.2 billion
rand, while the EBITDA margin edged lower to 20.3 percent from
20.8 percent.
    Netcare's hospital and emergency services division
registered a 5.9 percent rise in patient days, which represent
customer stays in its hospitals.
    "Based on the performance of patient days over the last
quarter of FY2018, acute patient day growth is expected to
remain under pressure in the near term," the firm said.
    Demand for mental health is expected to remain strong,
benefiting from the inclusion of Akeso for a full 12 months, the
company said.
    The firm declared a final dividend of 60 cents per share, up
5.3 percent.
    

 (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
 ((nqobile.dludla@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753126; Reuters
Messaging: nqobile.dludla.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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