Thomson Medical – BT

Thomson Medical H1 profit up 28%

THOMSON Medical Centre has posted sizable gains in interim earnings, thanks to higher patient numbers boosted by the centre’s efforts to upgrade and refurbish its hospital operations.

The group, which is a niche premium healthcare provider for women and children, reported a 28.3 per cent increase in net profit attributable to shareholders to $5.7 million for the six months to Feb 29, 2008, from $4.44 million a year ago.

Earnings per share rose to 1.95 cents, from 1.52 cents last year, while revenue grew 21.8 per cent to $29.5 million.

Thomson Medical declared an interim dividend of one cent a share. This compares with an interim dividend and a special interim dividend each of 0.75-cent a share previously. Thomson Medical shares were last traded at 62.5 cents each.

The group attributed its improved earnings performance to higher revenue contributions from its hospital operations and specialised services divisions.

It had completed the upgrading of two in-patient wards in FY2007, giving them a resort-style ambience. The full operation of the upgraded wards, more baby deliveries and increased referrals from its tenant specialists, peripheral specialists and the group’s network of Thomson Women’s Clinics also led to better utilisation of its in-patient facilities and its diagnostic and ancillary services.

The group also posted new records: it delivered 4,413 babies in the first half of FY2008, with 818 babies in November alone. Its average monthly delivery rate rose to 740 babies, from 640 babies the year before.

It also saw improved revenue takings from its subsidiaries – Thomson Fertility Centre, Thomson Pre-Natal Diagnostic Laboratory, Thomson Women’s Clinic, Thomson International Health Services and Thomson Aesthetics Centre.

And it continues to recognise fee income from its consultancy project for a private women and children’s hospital in Vietnam.

Said executive chairman Cheng Wei Chen: ‘Looking ahead, we are confident that the government’s pro-family initiatives will reap positive results.’

The group is well-positioned to benefit from this effort, increasing medical tourism, and the recent changes in healthcare policies such as means testing for subsidised care, which could potentially increase demand for private healthcare services.’

The group intends to extend its hospital upgrading programme to more in-patient wards, and will add another two operating theatres to the current four.

Thomson Medical is optimistic about doing well for the second half.

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