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Abano lifts revenue from continuing operations


Wednesday 27th July 2011

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Abano Healthcare reported a rise in annual revenue from continuing operations, after a year of transition as dental replaced audiology as the group's main revenue generator.

Abano chairman Alison Paterson said the business continued to be affected by the flow on from the global financial crisis, with increased pressure on publicly funded contracts, a more restrictive ACC environment and a slowing in demand for some elective private healthcare.

The effects of the global financial crisis were also now more obvious in Australia, with a related slow down in consumer confidence and spending, she said today.

Abano group earnings were also depressed by an estimated $500,000 in the year to May as a direct result of natural disasters in New Zealand and Australia.

Similar economic and confidence conditions were expected for the first half of our 2012 financial year, with an improvement in the business climate on both sides of the Tasman in the second half of the year, Paterson said.

The company said reported revenue from continuing operations was $174.8 million for the latest year, compared to $150.6 million in 2010.

Growth in ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to $20.5m from $17.1m, mainly reflected strong growth of the dental business, with net profit of $11.5m.

Excluding a one-off $12.3m gain from the sale of Abano's shareholding in National Hearing Care, and the de-recognition of tax losses in audio joint venture Bay International of $3.1m, net profit was $2.3m. Underlying operating earnings produced an ebitda of $17.9m and operating profit of $3.1m.

Abano has moved out of the mature New Zealand audiology market and into the emerging audiology markets of Australia and South East Asia, through Bay International.

Paterson said Abano's dental businesses in this country and Australia had continued to grow and improve profitability. The company also expanded radiology facilities in New Zealand and extended important contracts in pathology and orthotics.

The sale of National Hearing Care, completing Abano's exit from the New Zealand audiology market, had allowed the company to make a $27.3m return of capital to shareholders through a buy back and cancellation of one in four shares.

Since 2005, Abano had returned a total of $66.8m to shareholders through three share buy backs and a special interim dividend, Paterson said.

A final dividend of 13.7c per share will be paid, taking the total for the year to 21cps.

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