Netcare Sees U.K. Hospital Growth as Earnings Double

Netcare Ltd., an owner and operator of private hospitals in South Africa and Britain, more than doubled full-year profit after it reduced exposure to U.K. properties and as business in that health-care market improved.

Net income rose to 5.1 billion rand ($502 million) in the 12 months through September from 2.1 billion rand a year earlier, Johannesburg-based Netcare said in a statement today. Revenue advanced 10 percent to 27.8 billion rand, with currency fluctuations accounting for 6 percent of the increase. Netcare raised its final dividend 19 percent to 40.5 cents a share.

The earnings “reflect a strong trading performance from the South African operations and further improvement from our operations in the United Kingdom,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Friedland said in Johannesburg today. Netcare’s British unit, which runs 35 hospitals, is showing “early tentative signs of stabilization,” the company said.

Revenue from the U.K gained 2.1 percent during the year, compared with 6.2 percent in South Africa. Netcare plans to add 100 hospital beds in the current fiscal year, 30 more than it added in the prior period. The company has an increased focus on adding psychiatric facilities, Friedland said. These will be from both new and converted beds, he said.

The shares rose as much as 2.7 percent and closed 0.8 percent higher at 24.30 rand at 5 p.m. in Johannesburg, bringing the gain this year to 24 percent. Mediclinic International Ltd., South Africa’s largest private-hospital owner, has climbed 33 percent this year. Life Healthcare Group Holdings Ltd., the country’s second-largest private-hospital owner by market value, has advanced 18 percent.

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