Malaysia's IHH Healthcare 1Q Net Profit Rises

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysian hospital operator IHH Healthcare Bhd. (5225.KU) posted its biggest quarterly profit since going public in 2012 partially thanks to gains from its divestment of a stake in India's Apollo Hospitals.

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Net profit for the January-March period doubled to MYR470.05 million ($108.4 million) from MYR235.48 million a year ago.

Without the gains from the stake sale, IHH's net profit dropped 15% to MYR201.8 million due to incremental depreciation, amortization and finance costs for the new hospitals in Hong Kong and Istanbul, according to IHH's statement.

Revenue rose 8% to MYR2.68 billion during the quarter from MYR2.48 billion a year earlier. IHH attributed the increase to sustained growth in inpatient admissions and strong revenue across all of its major markets and the continued ramp up of newer hospitals opened in 2015.

IHH, one of the world's largest health-care companies, has expanded across Asia, including China and India, over the past five years. This has been driven in part by a growing affluent class that is willing to pay for better-equipped clinics and private hospitals.

The company said it expects to face cost pressures on several fronts, including competition for talent, pre-operational and start-up costs from new operations, and higher purchasing costs with the stronger U.S. dollar.

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Shares of the company ended 0.3% lower at MYR6.00 Friday before the results were released, underperforming the local benchmark stock index's 0.06% increase. Shares of IHH have dropped some 5% year-to-date.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 19, 2017 06:14 ET (10:14 GMT)