Al Noor Hospitals profit up more than 20% as healthcare needs grow

Al Noor was free of debt and had $104.7m in cash at the end of September allowing it to continue exploring acquisition opportunities.

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Al Noor Hospitals has reported a 20.4 per cent increase in revenue for the third quarter, continuing to benefit from the healthcare needs of the UAE’s rapidly expanding population.

The Abu Dhabi-based healthcare group announced revenue of $101.2 million for the three months to the end of last month, up from $84m in the same period last year.

Al Noor described its gross margins as “stable”, giving no details regarding costs and profitability.

“Overall, the company remains on course to meet its expectations for full year,” the group said on Thursday in an interim management statement on the London Stock Exchange.

Al Noor was free of debt and had $104.7m in cash at the end of September, “allowing the group to continue exploring further acquisition opportunities”.

The group brought on board 18 revenue-generating physicians during the quarter, bringing the total number of hires to 49 for the year to date. Al Noor is targeting employing between 70 to 80 physicians for the year.

“The healthcare sector continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the UAE due to population growth and a rapidly ageing demographic; an increasing incidence of lifestyle-related medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity; and service gaps in the current healthcare market,” said the Al Noor Hospitals Group chief executive Ron Lavater.

“Responding to the community’s escalating health needs provides Al Noor with abundant opportunities for growth in services and delivery sites.”

The group’s shares, listed last year on the London Stock Exchange, were up by as much as 2.7 per cent in early Thursday trading at 1,020 pence each.

Al Noor’s results come in the same week that fellow Abu Dhabi hospital operator NMC Health announced revenues of $161.2m for the quarter, a year on year increase of 18.1 per cent.

Occupancy levels at the London listed group’s facilities grew to 72.8 per cent at the end of last month, compared with 60.2 per cent the previous year [in September].

The FTSE 250 company’s net debt reached US$105.2m at the end of the quarter, in line with management expectations.

The third quarter saw NMC open two hospitals, Brightpoint Women’s Hospital and NMC Dubai Investment Park General Hospital.

NMC expects to open the Al Ain Medical Centre before the end of the year, with the $200m expansion of Khalifa City Hospital, adding 250 beds, expected to be opened in the first half of next year.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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