November 21, 2019 / 5:50 AM / 16 days ago

South Africa's Life Healthcare plans Poland exit, sees upbeat H1 2020

Nov 21 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Life Healthcare said it expects earnings to rise more than 20% for the first half of 2020, over the same period last year, and was considering plans to exit its Polish operations after taking an 125 million rand impairment charge in the year.

The private hospital operator said on Thursday it expects headline earnings per share for the six months ending March 31, 2020 to increase by a minimum of 5.4 cents per share to at least 32.3 cents per share.

In Poland, regulatory changes affected minimum employments costs and resulted in an impairment in the value of its Polish investment of 125 million rand.

However, the company said normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 5.73 billion rand for year ended Sept. 30 ($388.33 million) from 5.54 billion rand last year.

Revenue for the year grew 9.3% to 25.67 billion rand, chiefly helped by growth in PET-CT scan volumes in the UK.

$1 = 14.7554 rand Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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