Apollo Hospitals PBT grows 41 per cent, expects momentum to continue

Apollo Hospitals
Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd (AHEL) on Thursday reported a growth of 41 per cent in profit before tax at Rs 145.30 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2019, as compared to Rs 103.01 crore during same period last year.

Total income grew 16.5 per cent to Rs 2921.40 crore during the quarter, as against Rs 2507.53 crore in the same period of the previous year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up by 41 per cent at Rs 377 crore, the company said. 

The promoters' had pledged around 78 per cent shares of the total promoter shareholding a few quarters ago. It has been brought down to 29 per cent now, following the sale of their shareholding in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited (AMHI) to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC). The promoters may bring it down further in the next couple of years, said Krishnan Akhileswaran, Chief Financial Officer of Apollo Hospitals.

Healthcare services grew 12 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, led by growth, both in mature hospitals and new hospitals, which grew 9 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, year on year. 

The standalone pharmacy business reported 22 per cent growth in revenue during the quarter, and EBITDA margins for the business grew by 9.3 per cent. The transfer of front end of standalone pharmacies to Apollo Pharmacies Ltd is expected to happen by the end of the current quarter. Once it is over, the company may look at expanding operations into omni channel, including online pharmacy, during the year 2020.

"In addition to arming ourselves with newer offerings and treatment technologies, the resilience of our service model that offers comprehensive care across multiple centres and formats, is enabling us to maintain a focused trajectory of growth amidst a dynamic and fluid operating environment," said Prathap C Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals. 

"We are steadily realising the synergies that we had anticipated would arise, from the broad range of healthcare services spanning high acuity care, day care, clinics and pharmacies, amplified by a robust digital architecture," he added.

"Overall it has been a good quarter for us, building on the momentum that was already there in the first two quarters. We are at 17 per cent growth rate and we will sustain the year at that level," said the CFO.  

He said that the outbreak of coronavirus in China and other parts of the world has had no impact on the company's performance at present. The notification of medical devices as drugs will not have an impact on the company, as it has moved to service pricing plans where the consumables cost is embedded in the cost of procedures.

"Apollo Health & Lifestyle Ltd (AHLL), which houses the retail healthcare business of Apollo Hospitals has showed its profit sustainable during the quarter," he added. 

The company has also decided to amalgamate Apollo Home Healthcare and Western Hospitals Corporation, two of its wholly owned subsidiaries into AHEL.

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