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Business

Divestments, forex gains help IHH Healthcare soar in Q2

KUALA LUMPUR -- IHH Healthcare, Asia's largest hospital operator by market capitalization, said on Thursday that net profit increased 8% year-on-year to 246 million ringgit ($61.24 million) in the second quarter of 2016.

It gained 54.8 million ringgit by disposing its 90% stake in Shenton Insurance, an exercise it took to "rebalance [its] portfolio to optimize returns." It also received a 7.5 million-ringgit currency exchange windfall from its Turkish unit Acibadem and its nonlocal currency borrowings.

Without these exceptional items, profit after tax and minority interests fell 20% to 187.7 million ringgit.

Revenue grew 18% to 2.47 billion ringgit, thanks to organic growth at existing operations and new hospitals that opened in Malaysia and Turkey, as well as to acquisitions made since December, the group said in a stock exchange filing.

Parkway Pantai, the group's key earnings contributor, recorded a sales increase of 17% to 1.5 billion ringgit on sustained organic growth and contributions from new assets. Acibadem's revenue grew 21% to 868 million ringgit, thanks to existing businesses and new assets in Bulgaria.

"We continued to maintain our focus on strategy execution, ensuring steady contributions from existing operations while integrating our new assets [and] together, these actions will help deliver resilience amid headwinds which we expect in the year ahead," said Tan See Leng, IHH's managing director.

The Khazanah Nasional-backed entity said in its outlook statement that it expects robust demand from India and China while it continues to focus on existing products and services as well as integrating new acquisitions. IHH operates in 10 countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, India and Turkey.

It will continue to employ "tight cost control" due to its extensive geographical footprint that exposes it to risks and currency volatility, according to the outlook statement.

IHH's shares went up 0.45% to 6.65 ringgit on Thursday.

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