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Life Healthcare Group posts positive interim results

Johannesburg, 26 May 2022: Life Healthcare Group has posted encouraging trading results for the six-month period ended 31 March 2022 driven by a strong performance in southern Africa and abroad.

Group revenue climbed 4.2% to R13.5 billion for the period, pointing to operational resilience within the Group and signs of improving demand for healthcare services as the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. This was further bolstered by the solid underlying business performance of Alliance Medical Group (AMG) in its UK and European markets.

Group revenue consisted of a 4.5% increase in southern African revenue to R9.5 billion and increased international revenue by 1.8% to R3.8 billion. Growth initiatives contributed a further R232 million.

Group Chief Executive, Peter Wharton-Hood, says “the diminishing disruptions from recent COVID-19 waves, coupled with signs of normality returning, have driven an encouraging recovery in healthcare demand, which is reflected in these results. The continuation of these trends make us more optimistic on the outlook for our business.”

“The Group remains in a strong financial position, and we have demonstrated our ability to remain resilient during the numerous COVID-19 waves and other challenges including the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal,” he says.

“Since mid-January we have seen a strong recovery in a broad range of surgical and medical activities in our acute hospitals. This is a sign that the sector is returning to a sense of normality. We foresee that our southern African operations will continue to deliver volume and occupancy improvement during the next period,” he adds.

Life Healthcare Group has committed to train 1 500 nurses over a three-year cycle, subject to approvals from the authorities. This comes amid a sector wide call to address the shortage of nurses in South Africa, estimated to be between 20 000 and 60 000 in South Africa.

“Healthcare professionals remain a core pillar of our business and we will continue to invest in the people who make life better for our patients each day,” says southern African CEO, Adam Pyle.

Pyle expects continued progress in the SA growth initiatives. “In this regard we completed our first imaging transaction in South Africa with the purchase of the non-clinical operations of East Coast Radiology business, which was effective from 1 February 2022. Life Healthcare Group also signed a joint venture agreement with Axim to initially build two cyclotrons in South Africa” he says.

“Internationally, we expect to see continued good growth from the demand for AMG’s diagnostic imaging services in the UK, Italy, and Ireland which delivered higher scan volumes than in the previous period,” added Mark Chapman, CEO of the company’s international business.

Chapman added that AMG has an exciting opportunity in developing Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) in partnership with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). “Internationally, we continue to focus on long-term public private partnership solutions. CDCs provide a convenient solution in delivering imaging services closer to where people live. We have three CDCs operational and three under construction with a strong pipeline,” he says.

Concludes Wharton-Hood, “I am confident that Life Healthcare has emerged from the pandemic a more resilient and agile business. Our diversification and investment strategies are aligned to continuously deliver clinical excellence and quality healthcare to our patients.”