November 6, 2012 / 1:53 PM / in 5 years

S.Africa's Mediclinic H1 profit surges, shares rise

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s biggest private hospital group by value, Mediclinic International, reported a 45 percent surge in first-half profit helped by a robust performance in its mainstay domestic market and the United Arab Emirates.

Mediclinic, which also operates in Switzerland, said on Tuesday normalised headline earnings per share totalled 112.1 cents in the six months to end-September, compared with 77.2 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-time items.

Shares in the company, which are up more than 50 percent so far this year, were 1.2 higher at 47.55 rand as of 1322 GMT, outpacing rivals Life Healthcare, down 1.27 percent and a flat Netcare.

Demand for private healthcare is increasing in South Africa as a fast-growing middle class take up medical insurance, regulatory headwinds in Switzerland have weighed on the Cape Town-based firm.

Mediclinic said more patients, often with serious conditions, boosted the average income per bed in South Africa and the UAE.

The company said revenue grew 12 percent to 11.7 billion rand with its Swiss business - the company biggest by sales --boosting sales by 9 percent, due to a weaker rand currency against the Swiss franc.

It raised its interim dividend by 10 percent to 25.3 cents per share and said it was optimistic about is operational prospects for the 2013 fiscal year.

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