Apollo Hospitals says September occupancy levels up 60% after dip

Apollo does about 2000 tele-consults a day and about 3,200 doctors are on-board and pharmacy deliveries are ramping up very quickly
Apollo Hospitals has said that occupancy levels have increased to around 60 per cent in September from 38 per cent in June. The hospital chain also said it has taken various cost saving measures that will help it save around Rs 200 crore during the current year.

During an investors call today, Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said the past six months have been one of the most challenging in Apollo;s history. Outpatient (OPs) volumes were impacted and there was a significant drop in surgical volumes due to the fear of visiting hospitals. In any case, movement of people was curbed due to lockdown.

On a consolidated basis, revenue from operations shrank 16 per cent to Rs 2,172 crore (2,572 crore) for the April-June quarter year on year. The company posted a net loss of Rs 226 crore for the latest quarter as against a net profit of Rs 49 crore for the previous year quarter.

"Trends are looking much better and we expect the company will turn into green by the end of the year from red," she said adding that over the last few months things have started showing improvements as the country started opening up and people's movements have started.

Occupancy ratio rose to around 60 per cent from 55 per cent in August, 47 per cent in July and 38 per cent in June.  She added, international patients have also started coming from the neighbouring countries and Apollo is working with few charter providers for travelling.

A Krishnan - Chief Financial Officer of Apollo added that of the total 7,200 operating beds, around 2250 or 30 per cent are Covid beds where occupancy ratio is around 65 per cent, while non-Covid beds occupancy ratio is around 55 per cent.

Reddy said "we believe we have navigated the trouble time well and emerged stronger. We have moved closure to the consumer through Apollo 24X7 and we have used the six months to win new consumers and deepen our engagement with the existing customers."

Reddy noted in the last six months, since its launch, Apollo 24X7 has managed to get 3.7 million users, taking the total to 36.7 million people who are registered Apollo patients with unique Apollo identification. In the next five years the hospital chain is targeting around 100 million users.

Responding to a question on whether revenue generation through digital could be a atleast Half a Billion, the management said that they see such a potential in the next five years.

Apollo does about 2000 tele-consults a day and about 3,200 doctors are on-board and pharmacy deliveries are ramping up very quickly.

On cost saving, Reddy said, on a standalone basis the company managed to save around Rs 80 crore and Rs 100 crore on a consolidated basis. 

For the whole year, Apollo is looking at around Rs 180-200 crore kind of savings and most of it would be structured savings. In the long term around 20 per cent fixed cost saving is the goal. The savings came from administration cost, man power, energy, water, reducing rents, travel cost etc.,

She said, way forward it is about customer touch points and the format of engagements. The pandemic has solidified Apollo's belief physical beds form the base of the pyramid for health care delivery and will have to be enhanced with multiple additional platforms.

"We believe this is the future of health care and post covid, we will emerge stronger with the business model which is fully aligned with this future and aspiration of our customers," said Reddy.

Despite costs having gone up mainly due to Covid related, Krishnan said that they are not planning to increase the cost as the focus is bringing back the patient.

As on June 30, Apollo Hospitals had 7,267 operating beds across the network (excluding Apollo Health And Lifestyle Ltd, which runs clinics, and managed beds), out of which 14 were new hospitals with 2,020 operating beds. The total store network Apollo Pharmacies stood at 3,780 operational stores.

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