Fortis logs Q2 profit; to add 500 beds by March ’09

Fortis logs Q2 profit; to add 500 beds by March ’09

New Delhi: Hospital chain operator Fortis Healthcare on Wednesday posted its second consecutive quarterly profit and said it expects to add 500 more beds by March 2009.

Fortis, which went public in May 2007, had been posting losses due to investments in its hospitals, which take 4-5 years to break even, managing director Shivinder Singh said.

“Our efficiencies, cost control have been coming into play in last 6-8 months," Singh said.

Fortis saw September quarter net profit at Rs100.6 million, against a loss of Rs152.3 million in the year ago period. Net income rose 28% to Rs1.55 billion.

Core margins for the latest quarter rose to 18% from 8% in the year ago, and Singh said, he expects to maintain the margins in the second half of the financial year.

“We normally have a very good quarter three and quarter four because of the cardiac market. So, I would imagine that the margins should stay and improve going forward."

The hospitals see higher influx of cardiac patients in winter as heart problems are aggravated by weather conditions, Singh said.

Fortis, which currently has 2,600 beds in its 22 hospitals, will add 150 beds in Mumbai and another 350 through acquisitions by March, he said.

The hospital chain, which is targeting 40 hospitals by 2012, also expects to start a new hospital in New Delhi in first half of 2009/10 with an initial capacity of 250 beds.

Shares of Fortis, which have lost half of their value since the beginning of this year, closed 4.09% up at Rs56.05 while the benchmark index closed up 0.4%.