Ramsay Health Says It’s Close to Buying More Hospitals in France

Ramsay Health Care Ltd., Australia’s biggest private hospital operator, said it’s close to making further acquisitions in France as it seeks to take advantage of the nation’s “fragmented” health market.

Ramsay plans to add “a significant number of hospitals” in France as part of its joint venture with Credit Agricole SA’s Predica insurance unit, Chris Rex, the Sydney-based company’s managing director, said today.

First-half profit rose 31 percent to A$102.8 million ($103 million), driven by a “strong performance” at its Australian hospitals and an increased number of patients in the U.K., Ramsay said today in a statement. The company reaffirmed its full-year forecast for profit growth of 22 percent to 24 percent.

Ramsay rose 0.6 percent to A$17.36 as of 12:51 p.m. in Sydney trading. The stock has gained 39 percent in the past 12 months, making it the best performer among Australia’s eight biggest health-care companies.

The company paid A$142 million last year for a 57 percent stake in Groupe Proclif, giving it nine hospitals in the greater Paris region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Singapore at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net

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