Mediclinic profit increases as more South Africans turn to private health

Mediclinic, South Africa's largest private hospital group. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Mediclinic, South Africa's largest private hospital group. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Mediclinic International, South Africa’s largest private-hospital owner, posted a 23% increase in full-year profit as more patients came to its hospitals and spent more per visit.

Operating profit advanced to R6.5-billion ($622-million) in the 12 months through March, the Stellenbosch-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company benefited “from a marked increase in the number of patients treated,” chief executive Danie Meintjes said. “We continue to invest for growth across our businesses.” Mediclinic, which has operations in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, generates more than 60% of revenue and earnings outside South Africa, he said.

Sales rose 24% to R30.5-billion as the average income per bed-day, the number of patients admitted and the average length of stay all increased. Including one-time costs related to debt and acquisition charges, basic earnings per share climbed to R4.15 from a loss of R1.50. A weaker South African currency against the Swiss franc and United Arab Emirates dirham also had a positive effect on results.

Mediclinic shares have gained 2.6% this year, giving the company a market value of R64.5-billion. Competitor Netcare has risen 6.1%. – Bloomberg

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