Ramsay Health Care, Australia's largest private hospital operator, has reported a 12.7 per cent rise in core net profit after tax to $542.7 million.
Managing director Craig McNally said growth in admissions and procedural volumes in the company's Australian business underpinned the result.
“Australia remains the powerhouse of our business and delivered another year of impressive earnings growth, driven by strong demand and our brownfield developments," he said.
"We continue to invest heavily in this market, expanding and improving the quality of our facilities to ensure we are wellplaced 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."
Global revenue was up 0.2 per cent to $8.7 billion, slowed by the performance of its French business. Revenue from its Australian operation rose 7 per cent to $4.7 billion.
Mr McNally said across all Ramsay’s existing markets there was exciting potential for out-of-hospital growth opportunities in adjacent businesses including retail pharmacy.
“The Ramsay pharmacy franchise network is expanding and is on track to total 55 retail pharmacies once current contracts are completed. These pharmacies are providing a base for the provision of medication management and other integrated care services to our patients beyond the hospital walls. In the past year we have opened four 24/7 community pharmacies which are located in our major hospitals. In the meantime, our existing hospital pharmacy dispensing business continues to perform well.”
He added, “We expect strong growth in our Australian hospital business to continue in FY18 fuelled by ongoing growth in hospital utilisation rates as well as uplift from our brownfield development programme."