Hospital group Netcare for the year ended September 30, 2023, posted robust results on a sustained improvement in activity post Covid-19, and saw total paid patient days increase by 6.7% with improved occupancies of 64.4% from 60.1% the prior year.
Profit after tax and exceptional items increased by 27.2% to R1.3bn and adjusted headline earnings per share (Heps) increased by 27% to 105.7 cents.
The board declared a final dividend of 35.0 cents per share. This, together with an interim dividend of 30.0 cents per share represents 61.5 % of adjusted Heps and an increase of 30% over financial year 2022.
The market welcomed the results and shareholder payout, which saw its share up 4.16% at R13.53 at 1.19pm on the JSE.
“A sustained improvement in activity, off a largely organic base, supported revenue growth of 9.5%. Coupled with tight cost control notwithstanding the high inflationary environment, this has resulted in excellent operating leverage, reflected in the 23.9% growth in operating profit,” the group said.
Group CEO Dr Richard Friedland, commented, “We are encouraged by the ongoing normalisation and resilient demand for private healthcare services, allowing the group to continue on the solid trajectory reported during the first half of this past financial year.”
Friedland said Netcare had made excellent progress in implementing its key strategic projects. The CareOn digitisation project was nearing completion and successfully rolled out at 38 acute hospitals to date, covering 90% of beds.
“The project is delivering tangible benefits for patients across the Netcare ecosystem, and the gross financial benefits of R104 million in FY 2023 have exceeded expectations.” he said.
To address the growing demand for mental healthcare services in South Africa, Netcare successfully commissioned Netcare Akeso Gqeberha (72 beds) in May 2023.
Total capex, including strategic projects, amounted to R1.5bn for the year, of which R136 million related to expansionary projects, including the completion of construction of the new Netcare Akeso Gqeberha facility and R82 million invested in the hospital digitisation project.