RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG | 11/10/2005

Analyst conference in Frankfurt/Main

  • Results for the first nine months of 2005 (already published) explained
  • Group strategy under the new chairman of the Board of Management
  • Forecast for 2005 results and tentative trend result for 2005 

Bad Neustadt / Saale, 10 November 2005 ----- At Rhön-Klinikum AG’s analyst conference held today in Frankfurt/Main, the Group’s results for the first nine months of 2005 (already published on 26 October 2005) were explained and the parameters underpinning the expected results discussed. For the first nine months of 2005 the Group reports revenues of € 1,044.7 million (9M 2004: € 774.2 million / +34.9%). Consolidated third-quarter revenues reached € 356.4 million, up 29.4% from the same period in the previous year (Q3 2004: € 275.4 million). In the first nine months of 2005 the Group posted net consolidated profit of € 67.1 million (9M 2004: € 55.1 million / +13.5%). That translates into an EpS in Q3 of € 0.42 (Q3 2004: € 0.37); with reference to the first nine months EpS increased to € 1.23 (9M 2004: € 1.09). As a result of scrip shares (bonus shares) issued in a ratio of 1:1 following the Annual General Meeting in July 2005, earnings per share can be compared with the pre-year figure only on the basis of the adjusted values.

The acting chairman of the Board of Management of RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG since the end of July, Mr. Wolfgang Pföhler, outlined three main points: (1) Company objective: RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG as a full-service, generalised healthcare provider, (2) Strategy: privatisation and innovative concepts, (3) Doers and movers: changes within the Board of Management and Supervisory Board. 

Re. (1): “RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG is pursuing the strategic goal of generalised full-service coverage in Germany”, Pföhler said. “Today we have over 40 hospitals and a market share of roughly two per cent. Our goal is for a market share of eight to ten per cent. We would not like anyone to have to drive more than 100 km to reach a service point – whether owned by or working in co-operation with us – in order to receive our hospital services. But one thing is of pivotal importance to any expansion plans: we don’t want growth for the sake of growth alone. What we want is profitable growth.

Re. (2): The current woeful state of finances at all levels of government (local, state and federal) is opening up huge opportunities for private operators and providers of hospital services. “The sale of state enterprises is being accelerated. More and more hospitals will be up for sale. 

We will see substantial acquisition-driven growth, since the financial dearth of the state means it will have little or no funding to maintain the status quo – and we stand for advancement and modernisation”, Pföhler explained.

Re. (3): The goals pursued by RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG are ambitious but realistic. That said, it will take able hospital managers to achieve them, and they are a scarce resource. For this reason the Company considers itself fortunate to set the course for the future with the reallocation of responsibilities within the Board of Management as well as new appointments. At the end of 2005 the long-standing CFO Manfred Wiehl will leave the Board of Management so as to promote a “rejuvenation” in this area. “On behalf of the entire Board of Management and the Supervisory Board we extend our sincere thanks to him for his responsible and exemplary service”, declared Wolfgang Pföhler. “Mr. Wiehl has assured that he will be available in future with his wealth of experience and international connections.”

He will be succeeded as CFO by Dietmar Pawlik (48). From 1 September 2004 he was responsible for the division Controlling and Investor Relations. He brings along both valuable industry expertise and extensive international experience for the Company. “Hardly a better example of a smooth transition than in this case could be found”, Pföhler said. Mr. Pawlik will initially assume his area of responsibility as deputy board member.

At its meeting yesterday the Supervisory Board also followed the proposals of the Personnel Affairs Committee of 21 July 2005, and appointed as of 1 January 2006 Dr. Brunhilde Seidel-Kwem (49) as deputy member of the Board of Management for what Pföhler referred to as the “growth area of Northern Germany”. Since 1 February 2005 Dr. Brunhilde has been responsible for the regional division of Lower Saxony-North, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Before joining RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG she served as deputy chairperson of the executive board of LBK Hamburg after having successfully managed Universitätklinikum Göttingen as administrative director for several years. 

Andrea Aulkemeyer (41), member of the Board of Management until now responsible for Saxony, following her contract renewal will move closer to Group headquarters after assuming responsibility inter alia for Thuringia, Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Pföhler wished her much courage and resolve in taking on her considerably expanded portfolio.

Pföhler underscored that he considered himself fortunate to have found “a Board of Management with such extensive experience” who gave him their unreserved support from the outset. “The work together with my deputy chairman Mr. Gerald Meder and my predecessor Mr. Eugen Münch could not have gone more smoothly. The new chairman of the Supervisory Board, Eugen Münch, is there for me whenever I need him. We meet regularly once a week.”

The discourse concluded primarily with a look at the expectations for 2005 and the forecasts for 2006.

“For 2005 we expect revenues to reach € 1.4 billion”, said Manfred Wiehl, who is still the Company’s acting CFO. “Since remuneration negotiations are still under way for 2005 and the remuneration-relevant introductory phase of DRGs (case flat-rate remuneration of healthcare services) has yet to be completed, the resulting absence of forecasting certainty prevents us from revising our earnings estimate at this time. Consequently, our forecast announced at the July 2005 Annual General Meeting for net consolidated profit of € 86.0 million, with our shareholders participating at € 82.0 million, is left unchanged.” Wiehl further explained that at the present time it was very difficult to make a reliable forecast for the coming financial year 2006 given the current political stalemate and the negotiations for further takeovers still under way. However as target values – excluding further acquisitions – he did put revenues at € 1.5 billion and net consolidated profit at € 93 million.