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Wakefield reports buoyant start to the year but expects weaker second half

Wednesday 12th October 2011

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Wakefield Health said first half sales rose about 5% and trading profit was up about 10% but it is unlikely to maintain these growth rates in the second half.

The private hospital operator said revenue was about $41 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, which compares with $39.2 million in the same six months last year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were about $9 million, up from $7.7 million in the year-earlier period.

These are unaudited figures based on draft management accounts and actual results will be released in early November, Wakefield said in a statement.

“It is expected that the first six month growth figures are unlikely to be maintained through the next six months due to various factors including the increase in insurance expense that was effective from July 1 and the impact of the slowdown in demand over the summer holiday period that has traditionally resulted in weaker second half trading performance,” the company said.

Wakefield is in the process of raising up to $15 million of new capital to help pay for its $24.2 million purchase of Norfolk Investments which owns 60% of the Grace Hospital in Tauranga.

It has already received commitments from existing cornerstone and institutional shareholders for $11 million and is seeking to raise the rest from retail shareholders at $4.85 per share.

Shares in Wakefield, which also owns the Wakefield and Bowen hospitals in Wellington and Hastings-based Royston Hospital, last traded at $4.90 yesterday. They have traded between $4.79 and $6.75 over the last 12 months but the trend has been downwards.

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