Life Healthcare's profit after tax declines by 98% due to impact of Covid-19

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Life Healthcare's Life's Vincent Pallotti hospital in Cape Town.
Life Healthcare's Life's Vincent Pallotti hospital in Cape Town.

Private hospital group Life Healthcare has seen a 98.7% decline in profit after tax, following months of low patient numbers at its stable of hospitals due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

The group has operations across South Africa and Botswana, as well as in the UK and Europe. 

Its its profit after tax shrank from R2.8 billion in 2019 to R38 million in 2020, while revenue decreased by 1.1% to R25.4 billion from R25.7 billion in 2019, according to its annual results for the year ended 30 September 2020.

Life Healthcare announced last week that it had found a buyer for its Scanmed business in Poland but had impaired it for R798 million, valuing it R840 million, down from its September 30 carrying value of R1.6 billion.

In South Africa, the group said it saw the least number of patients in April, after the country went into its hard lockdown in March. Occupancy rates recovered in July but began decreasing over the following two months before picking up again in October and November. It has estimated that Covid-19 related revenue loss to its Southern Africa operations amounted to R2.3 billion. The group’s international operations in the UK and Europe, meanwhile, took a R437 million Covid related revenue knock.

The fluctuations in occupancy rates were caused by people putting off their elective surgeries to avoid contracting the virus. The Johannesburg-headquartered group, which has 9 136 registered hospital beds across Southern Africa, said its overall weighted occupancy for the year was 58.4% compared to 69.7% in 2019.   


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