Picture: THE TIMES
Picture: THE TIMES

Mediclinic International's share price fell as much as 6% to R105 on Thursday after it reported an interim loss and indicated it may reduce its bid to buy the 70% of UK associate Spire Healthcare it does not already own.

London-listed Spire Healthcare's share price fell 7% to 275p after Mediclinic said it would "take into account the movement in its share price since October 17" when considering a final bid it is required to make by 5pm on Friday under London Stock Exchange rules.

"There can be no certainty that an offer will be made," Mediclinic said in a statement on Thursday.

Spire said on October 23 it considered Mediclinic's offer of  0.232 Mediclinic shares and 150p per share in cash too low.

Mediclinic International incurred a loss attritutable to shareholders of £50m in the six months to end-September, which it blamed on the impairment charge on the equity investment in Spire Healthcare Group and other exceptional items.

Mediclinic’s underlying earnings were down 11% to £84m, affected by the performance of the Hirslanden and Middle East operating divisions and the decline in contribution from Spire.

Hirslanden is the largest private acute care hospital group in Switzerland and serves about one-third of inpatients treated in Swiss private hospitals.

The private hospital group said the timing of Easter holiday and a subdued market during the summer months in Switzerland affected patient volumes. As a result, revenue was flat Sf820m.

Mediclinic Southern Africa contributed £34m to the group’s underlying earnings compared with £30m in the comparative period.

Group revenue was up 10% to £1.40bn and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) up 5% to £232m.

The interim dividend per share was maintained at 3.3 pence per share.

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