SINGAPORE - IHH Healthcare, which owns a chain of hospitals, has reported a 25 per cent jump in first quarter net profit to RM159.1 million (S$62.1 million).
Revenue for the three months to March 31 rose by 8 per cent to RM1.76 billion, driven by higher inpatient admissions and revenue intensity across the group's operations and the opening of Acibadem Atakent Hospital in January.
Operating earnings growth was driven by a combination of organic growth from existing operations and better operating leverage achieved from the ramping up of hospitals which were opened in 2012 such as Mount Elizabeth Novena, Acibadem Ankara and Acibadem Bodrum.
IHH's flagship Parkway Pantai registered a 14 per cent rise in revenue to RM1 billion, as well as a 23 per cent jump in operating earnings to RM258.9 million.
The revenue of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital more than doubled to RM78 million while turning in an operating profit of RM18 million, against a loss of RM3 million in the same period last year.
The healthy revenue growth was also on the back of higher revenue intensities per inpatient admissions which grew 7.6 per cent in Singapore to some RM23,187 and 8.5 per cent to RM4,757 in Malaysia.
These resulted from more complex cases undertaken and price increases to compensate for inflation.
Parkway Pantai's Singapore hospitals saw an overall 6.4 per cent increase in inpatient admissions to 15,226 during the quarter. The increase was attributed to local patients as well as foreign patients from non-traditional markets such as the Middle East and China.
Meanwhile, the inpatient admissions at Parkway Pantai's Malaysia hospitals grew 9.3 per cent to 44,602.
Earnings per share swelled to 1.96 sen from 1.58 sen previously.
Overall, the group is confident that its strong balance sheet and cash flow will support its expansion plans as it expects to continue registering earnings growth during the year.
It plans to mitigate effects from higher staff costs and other inflationary pressures by raising prices while striving to extract greater operating leverage on the back of higher inpatient admissions from its new and existing hospitals.