NMC Speciality Hospital in Abu Dhabi. On the revenue side, it foresees gains in the 22-24 per cent range. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Abu Dhabi headquartered NMC Health recorded its best-ever net profit of $251.9 million (Dh925 million), helped on by a 20.4 per cent year-on-year increase. The revenue gains in percentage gains were just as strong, at $2.05 billion, an increase of 28.3 per cent.

For the short- to medium-term, the Abu Dhabi headquartered entity expects the growth story to continue. On the revenue side, it foresees gains in the 22-24 per cent range, while the EBITDA gains are forecast at between 18-20 per cent.

“The board remains committed to maintaining a 20-30 per cent payout ratio, which it believes to be a progressive policy given our underlying growth rate in the business”, the company said in a statement.

“Margin enhancement and improving cashflow remain the cornerstone of our financial performance,” said Prasanth Manghat, CEO. “With nearly half of our operational beds in ramp-up phase, this trend is set to continue.

“As operations at our key assets such as NMC Royal and our Saudi portfolio move towards maturity, income and cash generation are expected to improve significantly in the short to medium term.”

It was last year that NMC outlined its expansion into Saudi Arabia, through the formation of a joint venture with GOSI/Hassana Investment Company. “The health care sector remains a key focus point for governments in all the main markets we operate in and promoting private participation is a common theme,” the CEO added.

“A strong start to the current year reinforces our confidence in the business and we remain confident that 2019 will prove to be another year of record top- and bottom-line.”

A glance at NMC Health numbers in 2018

• The best-ever revenues and profits were generated on the “back of continued efficiencies at existing facilities and successful integration of acquired assets”;

• The EBITDA growth (at 37.9 per cent year-on-year to $487.4m) “continued to outpace revenue growth” and helping with a 170 basis point improvement in EBITDA margin to 23.7 per cent.