Burjeel Holdings has just signed up with a Saudi partner to get its specialized fitness facilities up and running. The ADX-listed entity is focussing on specialty healthcare services as part of a major transition. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE hospital operator Burjeel Holdings saw its Q1-23 net profit carve out a 43.4 per cent growth to Dh121.3 million, helped by ‘improved’ operational efficiency and a ‘shift to specialized services’. Burjeel, which is lining up a major investment spree in Saudi Arabia, generated revenues of Dh1.1 billion, which is 11.6 per cent higher from a year ago.

The gains were also brought on by higher revenues – by 32.6 per cent - from the flagship Burjeel Medical City hospital, where there were increases on both inpatient and outpatient footfall.

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"We remain focused on expanding our super-specialty and yield-enhancing complex care offering - and adding significant capabilities to our team - to further cement our position as a key referral hub in the region and beyond," said John Sunil, CEO. "We are confident our latest initiatives will enable us to continue to serve our patients better and bring the latest medical treatments and technologies to the region.

"We continue to review partnership opportunities in the Middle East and Africa, and actively evaluating various C-lite opportunities for geographic expansion, further enhancing our growth prospects."

Limited capex needs for medium-term
With significant scope to ramp up its existing assets the group is uniquely positioned to deliver significant growth with a limited requirement for additional capex.

Managing the debt

Another factor that pulled net profit higher was the lower finance costs from ongoing debt reduction measures.

During the quarter, Burjeel further reduced its debt by Dh29.1 million and with the net debt at Dh1.06 billion as at end March. "The net debt/Pre-IFRS 16 EBITDA reduced to 1.4x compared to 2.5x as at 30 September 2022, prior to the completion of its IPO," said a statement. "The strength of the group’s balance-sheet provides adequate financial flexibility to pursue CAPEX-lite growth opportunities."

Revenue from hospitals contributed 88.3 per cent of total revenues and in line with the returns from the past year. Higher patient footfall led to gains on the EBITDA, which was higher by 21.7 per cent to Dh215.7 million. There was also lower provision for expected credit losses.