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Netcare 2011 Profit Rises on Added Hospital Beds, U.K. Tax

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Netcare Ltd. said full-year profit jumped 27 percent as South Africa’s third-biggest publicly traded private hospital owner by market value expanded facilities and its U.K. business paid lower taxes.

Net income in the 12 months to Sept. 30 rose to 1.57 billion rand ($197 million) from 1.23 billion rand a year earlier, Johannesburg-based Netcare said in a statement today.

The General Healthcare Group unit in the U.K. posted a gain after its tax rate was reduced by 2 percentage points to 25 percent. Even so, the division had a “difficult trading year due to continued economic uncertainty,” reduced government medical spending and fewer people buying health insurance. In South Africa, Netcare opened a 126-bed hospital in the city of Midrand in July.

The company plans to expand several units in South Africa in the new fiscal year and “remains confident” that demand will be sustained in the country, Netcare said. General Healthcare Group’s next 12 months will be “very challenging” as government budget savings continue and the private caseload remains “constrained,” Netcare said.

Netcare fell 0.9 percent to 13.67 rand at the close in Johannesburg. The stock has declined 11 percent this year, valuing the company at 19.8 billion rand. Stellenbosch-based Mediclinic International Ltd. and Life Healthcare Group Holdings Ltd. are South Africa’s two most valuable publicly traded hospital operators.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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