HC Surgical Specialists reports H1 net profit of $5m, buoyed by fair-value gain

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Catalist-listed HC Surgical Specialists more than doubled its earnings in the first half-year, buoyed by a fair-value gain, its unaudited results indicated on Wednesday (Jan 13).

Net profit rose to S$5 million for the six months to Nov 30, 2020, up from S$2.17 million before; revenue was up by 12.4 per cent year on year, to S$10.99 million.

The colorectal clinic operator booked a fair-value gain of S$1.54 million on financial assets at fair value through profit or loss, reversing an earlier S$601,000 loss.

This was attributed to an increase in the share price of medical support services provider Medinex, of which HC Surgical Specialists holds an effective stake of 32.4 per cent, and an increase in the fair value of its investment in Singapore Paincare Holdings, which was publicly listed last July.

Besides the fair-value gain, the medical-services group notched a rise in turnover on a higher volume of patients from mid-2020, after the two-month quasi-lockdown or "circuit breaker" imposed by the government to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

HC Surgical Specialists said in a statement that its foreign patient volumes have fallen amid the pandemic, but "the group has not suffered much impact as we are able to rely on the local population demand".

Still, the group also warned that, while it has seen pent-up demand for its services post-circuit breaker, "it is uncertain if this trend will continue".

"With the Covid-19 situation still raging globally and the slowdown of economic activity, both local and worldwide, the group is mindful to keep its operations intact and will continue to strengthen its core competencies," it said.

Earnings per share came to 3.32 Singapore cents, against 1.45 Singapore cents previously. Net asset value was 13.33 Singapore cents a share, compared with 10.81 Singapore cents as at May 31, 2020.

The board recommended an interim dividend of 1.7 Singapore cents a share, up from 1.3 Singapore cents before, to be paid on Feb 2. The books close on Jan 21.

The counter closed on Wednesday at S$0.35, lower by S$0.01 or 2.78 per cent, before the results were released.