RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG | 05/03/2007

Q1 2007 results

  • Revenue raised by 10.6% to € 502.0 million
  • Rise in net consolidated profit to € 25.2 million as expected
  • EBITDA increase to € 61.1 million
  • EBIT increase to € 40.4 million
  • EBT growth to € 35.0 million
  • Earnings per share € 0.46
  • Continuation of sound financial structures
  • Operating cash flow at € 45.9 million  
  • Investments of € 31.5 million
  • 388,882 patients treated by Group hospitals during the first quarter
  • Group staff of 31,426 as at 31 March 2007
  • 45 hospitals with 14,577 beds/places as at 31 March 2007
  • First forecast confirmation for 2007: revenue of € 2.0 billion and net consolidated profit of € 102 million

The interim report for the three months ended 31 March 2007 once again confirms the successful course taken by the listed hospital Group headquartered in the Rhön. Of the growth in revenues by € 48.2 million to € 502.0 million (Q1 of previous year: € 453.8 million/ + 10.6%), € 29.6 million is accounted for by revenue from Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg in January 2007. Since the first-time consolidation took place only on 1 February 2006, no year-on-year quarterly comparison is possible. The remaining rise in revenues of € 18.6 million corresponds to organic growth in revenues of 4.1% and reflects the development in case numbers with growth rates of 2.0% in the acute inpatient area and 13.0% in the outpatient area.

Net consolidated profit in Q1 2007 saw a slightly disproportionate rise to € 25.2 million (Q1 of previous year: € 22.7 million/+ 11.0%). Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg improved its result and reduced the loss in the first quarter of 2007 to € 0.4 million (previous year: - € 2.6 million for the months of February and March; first-time consolidation only from 1 February 2006). The other hospitals also improved their results for the first quarter of 2007 compared with Q1 of the previous year by € 0.3 million in total. This made it possible to compensate for the following burdening effects: the increase in VAT to 19% (which has a cost effect in the hospital area), the statutory reform impost for hospitals of 0.5% of revenues, and start-up financing for integrated care.

In EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), the first quarter of 2007 recorded a gain by € 9.1 million or 17.5% to € 61.1 million (Q1 of previous year: € 52.0 million) and in the operating result (EBIT = earnings before interest and taxes) by € 4.6 million (+12.9 %) to € 40.4 million (Q1 of previous year: € 35.8 million). EBT (earnings before tax) saw a slightly disproportionate gain of 7.0% (Q1 of previous year: 6.9%) by € 3.8 million to € 35.0 million (Q1 of previous year: € 31.2 million). The depreciation and amortisation item rose disproportionately in the first quarter of 2007 as a result of the commissioning of new and refurbished hospital buildings during 2006 (Hildburghausen, Frankfurt (Oder), Nienburg) and the first quarter of 2007 (Pirna). Income tax rose in line with the increase in the assessment basis and due to the impact of the recognition of the corporate tax claim at the end of 2006.

At the end of the first quarter of 2007, earnings per share stood at € 0.46 (Q1 of previous year: € 0.42 adjusted / +11.1%).

“Revenues and net consolidated profit have thus developed in line with expectations”, said Wolfgang Pföhler, chairman of the Board of Management of RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG.

Investments in the first quarter of 2007 of € 31.5 million (Q1 of previous year: € 25.9 million) relate exclusively to replacement and top-up investments at existing hospitals; these were financed fully from the operating cash flow of € 45.9 million (Q1 of previous year: € 38.9 million).

Coverage of long-term assets by long-term financing is 101.2 %; these assets are financed by equity and long-term debt at matching maturities. Short-term loan capital continues to exceed short-term financial debt. “The Group continues to enjoy stable and sound financial structures”, explained Dietmar Pawlik, the company’s CFO.

In the first three months of 2007 a total of 388,882 patients (Q1 of previous year: 313,774/+23.9%) were treated in the Group’s hospitals. Roughly 87% of this growth was accounted for by outpatient attendances which in turn were largely driven by the first-time inclusion of full first-quarter service volumes of the polyclinical facilities of the university hospitals in Gießen and Marburg (previous year 1 February to 31 March) and the first-time inclusion of service volumes at the medical care centres (MVZs). Adjusting for these effects, the rise compared with the same period last year was 13%.

At the reporting date 31 March 2007, the Group employed a staff of 31,426 (31 December 2006: 30,409). The increase by 1,017 versus the last reporting date is attributable to the ten service companies that commenced their operations, adding 1,284 persons through transfers of staff previously employed with external service companies working for the Group. At the Group’s hospitals the number of employees declined by 267 versus the last reporting date.

As at the reporting date 31 March 2007, RHÖN-KLINIKUM Group had 45 hospitals with 14,577 beds/places at a total of 34 sites in eight federal states. The newly acquired district hospital Kreiskrankenhaus Köthen with 264 beds will be consolidated with effect from 1 April 2007. That will bring the Group’s capacity to 14,841 beds/places in 46 facilities at 35 sites in nine federal states.

“We will continue this strategic growth course also in financial year 2007”, said a convinced Wolfgang Pföhler. “Not including possible takeovers of further hospitals, we therefore confirm our revenue forecast of € 2.0 billion.

At the Results Press Conference on 19 April 2007, we already reported that the members of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board are waiving those components of their variable remuneration that are attributable to a one-off corporation tax effect (Section 37 Corporation Tax Act). This is expected to bring an additional earnings effect of roughly € 1.6 million in Q2 2007. We took this as an occasion to raise our stated forecast for net consolidated profit by € 2 million to € 102 million. In this connection we expect to achieve an overall balanced result at Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg in 2007 and to be able to fully offset the additional burdens for our hospitals of roughly € 39 million expected in 2007 from changes in legislation”, concluded Wolfgang Pföhler.