A HEALTHY BUY
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.