Netcare, an owner of private hospitals in SA and Britain, says first-half earnings have risen 26% as demand for private health care has improved.
Profit from continuing operations, excluding exceptional items, advanced to R868-million in the six months through March, from R687-million a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said on Monday in a statement.
Revenue increased 8.5% to R13.3-billion, with a weaker rand against the pound contributing to the gain.
"We remain confident in the demand for private health care services at primary and tertiary levels in South Africa," the company said. While revenue in both South Africa and the UK grew in their respective currencies, the UK economy is expected to "remain stagnant for the remainder of the year", it said.
Netcare raised the interim dividend by 23% to 27 cents. Its shares fell 0.3% to R22.74 by 9.49am in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R33.3-billion.
Netcare wrote down R11.4-billion from its UK properties last year, a move that helped to cut its finance expenses to R389-million from R962-million on lower interest charges. – Bloomberg