NMC Health, based in Abu Dhabi, said it had agreed to buy a Spanish fertility treatment provider as it reported a 12 per cent increase in 2014 net profit.
The London-listed company will acquire 86.4 per cent of Barcelona-based Clinica Eugin for €143 million (Dh594.7m) from the Spanish venture capital firmProA Capital.
NMC said it wants to expand the Eugin franchise in the UAE with an eye on the medical tourism market and take it to other parts of the Arabian Gulf and Middle East and North Africa.
Last year, Eugin had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of €14m. In-vitro fertilization treatments at the clinic start at €4,420, without factoring in the cost of medicines.
“The acquisition should enable NMC to continue to build its brand in the [Arabian Gulf] as it leverages this service across the region,” said Charles Weston, the director of healthcare equity research at Numis Securities.
Last week NMC Health said it was raising US$825m to help fund its international expansion. But NMC said that it did not use the facility to fund the Eugin acquisition.
Fertility rates have been dropping in the UAE. They declined from 4.4 to 1.7 per woman between 1990 and 2011, according to World Health Statistics in 2013. Over the past few years, the number of fertility centres have been growing in the UAE. These include Bourn Hall Clinic in Dubai; Burjeel Hospital, HealthPlus Fertility Centre and Fakih IVF in Abu Dhabi, and Conceive Fertility Centre in Sharjah.
NMC’s net profit for last year stood at $77.5m, while debt was up 77.3 per cent to $113m as it spent funds on new and existing facilities.
The group reported revenues of $643.9m last year, up 16.9 per cent year-on-year, with 49.5 per cent of that coming from its healthcare business.
Among its openings last year was the $35.3m NMC General Hospital in Dubai Investment Park, the $107.4m Brightpoint Royal Women’s Hospital in Abu Dhabi and the NMC Medical Centre in Al Ain. It is also developing the $101.9m Khalifa City Specialty Hospital, which is expected to open this year.
With the new facilities, it added 15.6 per cent more patients for a total of 2.4 million as hospital bed occupancy rates touched 71.3 per cent, an increase of 10 per cent on 2013 levels. Revenue per patient from healthcare services increased by 2.6 per cent to $114.5, driven by service price increases.
It currently operates six hospitals, two day surgeries, two medical centres and 11 in-hospital pharmacies. It also operates the 205-bed Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital in Umm Al Quwain.
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