Virtus Health shares are tanking on weak demand for IVF

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Virtus Health, Australia’s largest in vitro fertilization (IVF) provider, is being hit by growing numbers of low cost competitors and falling demand.

A short time ago, its shares were down 16% to $5.20.

According to Medicare data, IVF activity in Australian again fell in the December quarter.

Virtus, the first ASX-listed fertility business with 45 clinics in Australia, Singapore and Ireland, says activity fell 7.2% in the December half compared to the same six months the year before.

And the company says low cost competition in NSW has cut its fertility centre volumes by 19% for the half.

“The level of this volume shortfall, should it continue in the second half will have a material impact on Virtus full year financial results compared to prior year,” the company said in a market update.

In 2016, revenue increase 11.6% in 2016 to $261.2 million and net profit was up 14.5% to $34.9 million.

Virtus is due to announce its half year results on February 21.

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