Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - MICHAEL COUL­SON

IF IT’S TRUE that ev­ery prob­lem presents an op­por­tu­nity, then the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in pub­lic med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties cer­tainly presents huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for sev­eral en­trepreneurs. Net­care listed on the JSE in 1996, and Jackie Shevel (founder) built it into one of the big­gest private health­care or­gan­i­sa­tions in SA, as well as ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally. At Septem­ber 2006, the group man­aged 120 private hos­pi­tals and clin­ics, equipped with more than 11 760 beds and 510 op­er­at­ing the­atres. OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES In the UK, Net­care won private-pub­lic part­ner­ship con­tracts with the Na­tional Health Ser­vice cov­er­ing the pro­vi­sion of both clin­i­cal ser­vices and build­ings. Th­ese in­ter­ests sub­se­quently merged with the es­tab­lished UK com­pany Gen­eral Health­care Group, and Net­care now owns 51% of the merged op­er­a­tion. • Group CEO Richard Fried­land (45) has been with Net­care since 1997, and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Peter Nelson (52), who joined in 2004, was pre­vi­ously fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor of PPC. The UK in­ter­ests are headed by Mark Adams (43), who’s the same age as Gen­eral Health­care's COO Jo LeCoul­liard. • Be­tween FY2000 and FY2006 turnover grew from R2,8bn to R11,6bn, a com­pound an­nual growth rate of 26%; op­er­at­ing profit from R413m to R1,6bn, a growth rate of 25%; HEPS from 17,0c to 56,2c, a growth rate of 22%. RISKS At the cur­rent 1 475c/share, the his­toric p:e ra­tio is nudg­ing 27 and the yield a mere 1,9%. This will make the share vul­ner­a­ble to any gen­eral mar­ket set­back.


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