Asian Healthcare Specialists half-year profit jumps 3.5 times to $1m

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed Asian Healthcare Specialists (AHS) saw net profit surge to $1 million for the second half ended Sept 30, 2018, more than three-and-a-half times the year-ago figure of $287,000.

This took full-year net profit to $2.5 million, more than five times the previous year's $0.4 million figure, in its first full-year results since its listing in April. Excluding one-off listing expenses of $0.9 million, net profit would have been $3.4 million, AHS said in its results announcement on Thursday (Nov 29).

Revenue for the second half was $5.2 million, down 3.4 per cent from $5.4 million for H2 2017, which AHS attributed to fewer patient visits. Full-year revenue was down a marginal 1.4 per cent at $10.9 million from $11 million the year before.

The largest change in full-year costs came from purchased and contracted services, which fell to $171,000, down from $7.2 million for the previous year. This was due to the termination of consultancy services agreements and the commencement of employment agreements with four doctors.

The company is proposing a final dividend of 0.4 cent, bringing the total dividend for the year to 0.6 cent.

In its results release, the group said it expects increased demand for its medical services given Singapore's growing and ageing population as well as an increasing percentage of insured patients in Singapore and the region.

"Nonetheless, the group is mindful that the healthcare business remains highly competitive," said AHS. Its focus is on growth plans via acquisitions, joint ventures or strategic alliances; investment into synergistic businesses; and investment in talent, both at management level and in healthcare professionals.

Temasek subsidiary Heliconia became an investor in the group in October. AHS also noted the acquisition of anaesthetic services provider Asian Anaesthesia Care Pte Ltd, completed on Nov 28, which it said would bring about synergies with its existing surgical businesses and form another step in the group's plans to set up a pain management centre.