March 7, 2018 / 10:28 AM / in a year

UAE healthcare provider NMC sees profit jump, eyes more acquisitions

ABU DHABI, March 7 (Reuters) - UAE healthcare provider NMC Health reported a 38.2 percent rise in annual net profit on Wednesday and said acquisitions this year could top the $641 million it spent in 2017.

London-listed NMC reported a net profit of $209.2 million on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 31.3 percent.

The Gulf’s healthcare sector is growing partly due to increasingly wealthy population that is becoming more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

NMC’s 2017 acquisitions included the Al Zahra Hospital in the emirate of Sharjah for $322 million.

“We can do more than last year, we can do up to $800 million acquisitions without taking fresh facilities,” CEO Prasanth Manghat told Reuters.

“The company’s balance sheet will support our strategy,” he said, adding that NMC has around $600-700 million in unused facilities and also has cash.

NMC last year signed two syndicated facilities last year, a five-year $825 million loan and a seven-year $250 million loan.

Manghat said NMC’s focus remains on Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Oman where it is looking to grow.

“Saudi ...(offers) huge opportunities for growth. We are awaiting Oman’s new mandatory insurance,” he said, adding that Dubai is also picking up.

NMC, which was included in the FTSE 100 index last year, manages more than 125 assets in 13 countries. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; editing by Jason Neely)

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