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Abano reports 75 percent NPAT uplift to $2.8 mln on $207 mln turnover

Tuesday 30th July 2013

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Abano Healthcare Group has reported a 75 percent improvement in net earnings after tax for the year to May 31, and is looking to raise $15 million in coming months to pursue further growth in Asia and Australia.

The group reported record total revenues of $207 million for the year, and NPAT before accounting for the share available to minority shareholders in subsidiaries of $4.055 million for the year, exactly the same NPAT sum as the year before.

However, the portion attributable to Abano shareholders was up from $1.6 million in the year to May 31 2012, with this year's net earnings coming in at 16.6 cents per share, compared with $10.1 cps the previous year.

Dividends are being maintained at a stable 21 cps for the year, unchanged for the last five years, payable Aug. 23 with a record date of Aug. 13, and with a final dividend of 13.7 cps.

The company gave no solid earnings guidance for the year ahead, except to say it was applying lessons learnt in the prolonged New Zealand downturn to manage soft trading conditions in Australia.

"We therefore anticipate that the Australian downturn will have a limited impact on our business and our mid to long term view of the opportunities offered in Australia remains positive," the company's statement to the NZX said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were $27.7 million, up 8 percent on last year.

The start-up audiology business, which spans sites in Australia and Asia, made a $5.8 million loss for the year, and the company has closed three locations in Hong Kong on the grounds retail space is too costly there and is moving its Asian regional support office to Taiwan.

"These businesses are still in a development phase, with breakeven at EBITDA expected in FY16," the company said.

Abano also calculates an underlying earnings figure, removing one-off factors, which came in at $4.5 million on an NPAT basis, up 50 percent on the previous year.

"The revenue and ebitda results reflect the divestment of the brain injury rehabilitation business in June 2012 at the start of the financial year, for a gain of $1.6 million, resulting in no further earnings contributions from this business," the company said.

The Australian dental business, Dental Partners is also now recognising revenue after payment of dentists' commissions, with gross revenues before commissions rising to $257.8 million, "primarily driven by increasing dental group gross revenues which were up 18 percent" on the previous financial year.

In addition to the dividend reinvestment plan, Abano also proposes to raise around $15 million of capital in the coming quarter, directors announced. Forsyth Barr will arrange the offer, which it is intended will be underwritten and likely to comprise "a small placement and Share Purchase Plan to provide for substantially pro-rata participation by all our shareholders".

On a segment basis, dental operations generated gross revenues of $177.8 million, contributing 69 percent of Abano's gross revenue.

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