Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Healthcare group Ascendis decided against paying a dividend in the second half of its financial year, announcing on Tuesday that it would instead deploy cash to potential acquisitions.

Central and Eastern Europe, as well as SA, are within its sights as it looks to buy what it said were complementary bolt-on businesses in 2018.

Ascendis, which owns companies that sell healthcare products for humans‚ animals and plants, has been on an acquisition drive since its debut on the JSE in 2013. The strategy is to complement organic growth by acquiring bolt-on companies in SA and abroad, with the aim of deriving synergies.

Headline earnings rose a hefty 91% to R645m on a normalised basis in the year to June, the company said. Group revenue was up 64% to R6.4bn, with R2.3bn of this coming from Remedica and Scitec, which the company acquired during the period under review.

Foreign revenue surged 497% to R2.8bn and comprised 43% of total sales, making the company sensitive to currency fluctuations. Its products are also exported to more than 120 countries globally.

At 4pm, its share price on the JSE was off 1.02% to R21.28, valuing the company at about R9.03bn

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