Thomson Medical – BT

Thomson Med sanguine about FY2011 results

MOH suspension of fertility unit to have no material impact

THOMSON Medical Centre yesterday said that the suspension of its fertility treatment unit would not have a material impact on current year financial results, as it does not expect any significant transfer of existing patients to other assisted reproduction centres.

In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, Thomson Medical said that the suspended unit, Thomson Fertility Centre (TFC), accounted for 4.4 per cent of the group’s revenue in the last financial year. For the year ended Aug 31, it accounted for 5.9 per cent of Thomson Medical’s after-tax profit.

The group was in the limelight last week, first for being the subject of a $513 million buyout by former ‘remisier king’ Peter Lim and then for a botched invitro-fertilisation (IVF) treatment at its wholly owned subsidiary.

A wrong sperm was used in the procedure, which resulted in the baby having his mother’s genetic make-up but not his father’s. Following lapses identified during an audit, the Ministry of Health has directed the centre to stop initiating fresh cycles of assisted reproduction treatment.

Under the directive, patients who have started on their treatment cycles can either opt to continue with TFC or transfer to another AR centre.

‘So far, those we have spoken to have indicated that they will continue their treatment in TFC,’ Thomson Medical said.

The group added that it would apply for the suspension to be lifted as soon as possible. It intends to carry out the additional processes recommended by the authorities and will be inviting MOH to review the implementation.

The group posted a full-year net profit of $15.88 million, 24.2 per cent higher than a year ago. For the 12 months ended August, revenue rose 21.2 per cent to $81.67 million.

Despite news of the IVF incident, Thomson Medical’s share price has held steady at $1.75, as Mr Lim snapped up more shares from the open market. Since announcing his general offer, at $1.75 per share or a 62 per cent premium, Mr Lim has amassed 57.61 per cent of the private healthcare services provider. The counter closed unchanged yesterday at $1.75 with 2.56 million shares changing hands.

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