Asklepios Accelerates Investments in Equipment, Technology and Quality of Staff: Self-Imposed Claim as an Innovative Former in the Health System Makes Clear That the Safety of Patients and Employees is at the Focus
April 29, 2014 - Hamburg, Germany
Asklepios Kliniken GmbH, holding company of the health care Group Asklepios, once again shows sustainable growth at all levels of the company. Asklepios invested in fiscal year 2013 mainly in modernisation and in quality improvement of the technical equipment as well as education and training of its professionals and service personnel. Dr Ulrich Wandschneider, CEO of the Board of Management of Asklepios Group underpins that the focus of the Group is on the safety of patients and employees and points out at the same time that the gap between increasing costs as a result of continuously rising energy prices, material costs and personnel costs on the one side and capped remuneration for medical treatment on the other side in the German health system is a widening even more. "Asklepios has the commitment to pursue and initiate improvements in all parts of the hospital sector at an early stage."
The main reason for the positive sales trend to EUR 2,899 million (+3.1 per cent) was the increase in the number of patients treated to 2.2 million (+4.6 per cent). Once again the out-patient treatment showed a significant growth: the hospitals registered around 6.6 per cent more patients than last year. In contrast the number of in-patient treatments rose only slightly.
Operative earnings, EBITDA, grew by 6.4 per cent to EUR 284 million. In the first half of 2013 earnings were still slightly below previous year's level. A moderat seasonal tail wind and a regionally co-ordinated, tailored medical supply contributed to the upward trend in the full year 2013. Operative earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) benefitted from the organic growth of the Group rising by 7.4 per cent to EUR 175.8 million (previous year: EUR 163.8 million). Group net profit improved by 7.3 per cent to EUR 121.1 million (previous year: EUR 112.9 million) with a tax rate nearly unchanged against prior year.
Solid balance sheet structure assures financing
The operating cash flow of the Group increased by 1.9 per cent to EUR 229.8 million and was mainly used for modernisation and quality improvement of the technical equipment as well as education and training of its professionals and service personnel. Asklepios speeds up the group-wide quality campaign in all areas with its own Centers of Excellence.
While the Group equity increase by 8.8 per cent to EUR 926.3 million (previous year: EUR 851.5 million) the balance sheet total only widened by 4.3 per cent to EUR 2,755.0 million (previous year: EUR 2,641.5 million). This results in a rise of the equity ratio to 33.6 percent at the balance sheet date (previous year: 32.2 per cent).
Net debt of the Group, including subordinated capital of EUR 67.9 million, lowered to EUR 598.7 million at the balance sheet date 31 December 2013 (previous year: EUR 625.4 million). The debt to equity ratio therefore sank to 2.1-times EBITDA (previous year: 2.3-times). Cash and cash equivalents (EUR 204 million) and undrawn credit lines (EUR 492 million) added up to liquidity reserves of EUR 696 million at the balance sheet date 31 December 2013. Thus they are almost twice as high as one year ago (EUR 355 million). "Group financing today is much broader based on different, tightly coordinated pillars and the liquidity reserves assure our financial flexibility with a strong credit rating at the same time", underlined Stephan Leonhard, Deputy CEO of the Board of Management of the Group and CFO, the financing strategy of the Asklepios Group.
"Asklepios designs improvements in all parts of the hospital sector actively and at an early stage" Dr. Ulrich Wandschneider, CEO of the Board of Management of Asklepios Group, points out. "We will also make use of our positioning as a leading hospital operator represented all across Germany in 2014 and focus to the Asklepios strengths quality, innovation and social responsibility. We place particular emphasis on our programme for patient safety. We not only strengthen our measures in this area further and standardise them across all facilities in the Group, but we also communicate and explain them more intensively to our patients."
Asklepios expects further organic sales growth of 2 to 4 per cent in its outlook for fiscal year 2014. Furthermore Asklepios also checks opportunities for growth by acquisitions in the hospital market.
The annual report 2013 with the audited consolidated financial statements will be published today during the day on the Asklepios website (www.asklepios.com). Previous year's figures have been adjusted due to a change in the appropriation of sales and other operating income. Aim of these reclassifications is to ensure better comparability of the Asklepios figures to other companies in the hospital sector.
About Asklepios: The healthcare Group Asklepios Kliniken GmbH is a leading private operator of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Germany. The Group pursues a responsible, sustainable growth strategy that is geared towards high quality and innovative strength. With this approach, Asklepios has enjoyed dynamic development since its formation more than 30 years ago. At present, the Group has more than 150 healthcare facilities and employs more than 45,000 people throughout Germany. In the previous financial year, 2013, around 2.2 million patients were treated in Asklepios Group facilities.
CONTACTS : Thomas Pfaadt Head of Corporate Finance & Investor Relations Tel.: +49 6174 90-1192 Fax: +49 6174 90-1110 email@example.com www.asklepios.com/ir
Source: Business Wire India