Thursday 23rd February 2012
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Abano Healthcare, which invests in specialist health clinics, posted a 53 percent drop in first-half profit after it sold an audio testing business and took one-time charges for IT spending and a debt facility in Australia.
Profit was $1.5 million for the six months ended Nov. 30, down from $3.2 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $102 million from $86.7 million.
The results reflect a dip in income after Abano sold its New Zealand-based National Hearing Care business in December 2010. It also had costs to invest in IT infrastructure, and start-up charges for an additional debt facility in Australia.
The company confirmed plans to strengthen its audiology businesses in Asia and Australia, while expanding its dental practices in Australia and New Zealand. It opened 20 dental practices, worth over $28 million, in the six months ended Nov. 30.
“Our dental businesses in Australia and New Zealand will be our primary income generators and we will continue to invest into an accelerated growth programme for both businesses,” it said.
Separately today, Abano said it is developing a $4 million specialist radiology clinic in the AUT Millennium Campus on Auckland’s North Shore.
The joint venture between Ascot Radiology and Insight Radiology, both majority-owned by Abano, will be open in June.
“Radiology in New Zealand is also becoming an important revenue generator and investment sector, and while costs of developing the new Millennium clinic will be incurred in the second half of FY2012, we expect to see growing benefits from this investment from the FY2013 onwards,” it said.
The company said it will issue a full-year forecast for the financial year ended May 31, 2012, once it has assessed trading over the Christmas and holiday break.
The board confirmed it will pay a dividend of 7.3 per share, the same as last year.
Shares are currently trading at $4.30 and have gained 2.4 percent this year.
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