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UPDATE 1-Mediclinic profit falls 86% as feels coronavirus crisis impact

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Profit at Mediclinic fell by 86% in its first half year, with the owner of private hospitals in Switzerland, southern Africa and the Middle East cautious about the second half due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mediclinic said on Thursday that its earnings for the six months to the end of September fell to 15 million pounds ($20 million) from 109 million pounds in the same period last year.

It expects uncertainty to persist for another 18 months and forecast group revenue and operating profit in its 2021/22 financial year to be in line with its results for 2019/20.

“Growth will be most notable at Mediclinic Middle East given prior year investments continuing to ramp up,” the London-listed group said, adding that its Southern Africa operations will take longer given the region’s macroeconomic outlook.

“The Group remains cautious on second-half performance in the midst of uncertainty as to the full impact of the continuing pandemic and its economic aftermath,” it said in a statement.

The company’s revenues were down 5% in constant currency to 1.411 billion pounds ($1.86 billion), impacted primarily due to a lockdown in its operating countries in April 2020 to curb the spread of coronavirus, Mediclinic said.

With Europe experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections, elective non-emergency procedures at its Swiss operations, which account for more than half group revenue, will also be hit after an improvement in the first half.

Swiss revenues and operating profit will be in line with the corresponding period last year, Mediclinic said.

Middle East contributes 27% and Southern Africa 22% of Mediclinic’s revenue. ($1 = 0.7579 pounds) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith)

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