Private hospital group Ramsay Health Care lifted full year profit 8.6% to $488.95 million on the back of growth in admissions in Australia.
The domestic Australian business grew strongly, with revenue up 7% to $4.7 billion, but overall revenue was flat at $8.7 billion, up just 0.2%, on weaker growth in France and the UK.
Core net profit after tax was up 12.7% to $542.7 million.
The company has 221 hospitals, 25,000 beds, 200 pharmacies and 60,000 staff.
“Australia remains the powerhouse of our business and delivered another year of impressive earnings growth, driven by strong demand and our brownfield developments,” says managing director Craig McNally.
“We continue to invest heavily in this market, expanding and improving the quality of our facilities to ensure we are well placed to meet the demands of an ageing and growing population.
“This year was no different, with close to $500 million worth of projects either completed or commenced during the period including the opening of two brand new facilities: The Southport Private Hospital on the Gold Coast and the Border Cancer Centre in Albury (NSW).”
Globally, Ramsay has $385 million in projects under construction and due for completion over the next two years.
McNally says the businesses in France and the UK and delivered results in accordance with expectations, demonstrating resilience in challenging tariff environments.
Ramsay is targeting core earnings per share growth of 8% to 10% for 2018.
The company declared a final fully franked dividend of 81.5 cents, bringing the full year payout to 134.5 cents, up 13%.
Here are Ramsay’s results by geographic division: