Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) held its Annual general meeting on 14 November 2018, following which the share price of the company were seen to be uplifted by 1.334 percent (1:10 PM AEST). In FY 2018, Ramsay Health Care reported a Core Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $579.3m, which was an increase of 6.8 percent as compared to the last year. Due to the increase in the Core NPAT, Core EPS of the company increased by 7 percent to 279.8 cents which was in line with the revised guidance provided in June 2018. Group’s earnings before interest & tax increased by 6.8 percent to $1.008 billion in FY 2018.
This year the board declared fully-franked final dividend of 86.5 cents, which is an increase of 6.1 percent on last year, taking the full year dividend to 144.0 cents fully-franked. The company’s growth has been consistent and sustained over many years; and while it experienced some challenges in FY 2018, the company delivered solid results demonstrating both the efforts of its management team and the company’s long-term resilience. As per the company’s chairman Mr. Michael Siddle, the significant focus on private health insurance and affordability concerns in Australia are creating some instability for the health care sector and, with a federal election looming this is not likely to resolve itself quickly. He further told that the company is working actively with government and the industry on this, and although the healthcare sector is facing challenges and reforms, with an aging and growing population, the underlying growth fundamentals for the sector remain strong.
During FY 2018, the Board approved a record $325 million in capacity expansions and redevelopments at its hospitals in Australia which will not only expand their facilities to meet growing demand but also enhance the environment of care delivery for patients. The company recently finalized the Ramsay Generale de Sante takeover of Capio AB which is a pan European healthcare operator. With this acquisition the company has created market leading positions in several markets including France and Nordics. This is a milestone acquisition for Ramsay as it provides a diversified and strategically located portfolio across 11 countries with 77,000 staff and 480 facilities.
During FY 2018, the company focused on strategies to strengthen its business for long term including large scale cost optimization programmes as well as investment in people, innovation, facility enhancement and growth initiatives, and these are ongoing into FY 2019. The company is expecting that the growth initiatives and investments made by the company in FY 2018 aimed at strengthening its business, and will contribute strongly to earnings beyond FY 2019. Further, the company is targeting Core EPS growth of up to 2% in FY 2019.
At the Annual general Meeting, the chairman also announced the appointment of Ms. Alison Deans as a non-executive director. Ms. Alison Deans is having more than 25 years of experience in business leadership focused on technology and innovation.
RHC’s shares traded at $56.22 with a market capitalization of $11.21 billion as on 14 November 2018 (AEST 1:10 PM).
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