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BW Businessworld

Apollo: Robust Sales Boost Q1 Profit

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Indian healthcare firm Apollo Hospitals Enterprise's quarterly net profit rose 31 per cent almost matching street estimates on continued growth in healthcare and pharmacy segments.

The company reported June-quarter net profit of 512.7 million rupees on sales of 6.41 billion rupees.

A Reuters' poll of 17 brokerages had forecast April-June net profit of 520.25 million rupees on net sales of 6.48 billion rupees for Apollo.

The Chennai-based firm's healthcare business grew 18 per cent to 4.51 billion rupees in April-June while revenue from pharmacy segment jumped 40 per cent to 1.89 billion rupees, it said in a filing to the BSE.

"There was a certain slowdown in hospitals business but still we have managed to post strong numbers. Going forward, we see this business accelerating further," A. Krishnan, chief financial officer, Apollo Hospitals, told Reuters by telephone.

The company closed about 26 non-performing pharmacy stores in April-June, helping improve profitability of the pharmacy business, he said.

The company's EBITDA for its pharmacy business in April-June was about 1.2 per cent.

"With further rationalisation of the business, we see this in the range of 3-4 per cent over next 12 months."

Apollo Hospitals competes with domestic rivals Fortis Healthcare (India) - controlled by brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh who also run Religare Enterprises and the unlisted Max Healthcare, a unit of Max India.

India's healthcare market, which is largely unorganised, is valued at about $2 billion and is growing between 12-15 per cent annually. All the three major domestic players have matched or bettered this growth rate three years running.

Shares of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, which have gained 10 per cent in the last three months, closed at 512.10 rupees on Wednesday, down 0.67 per cent in a firm Mumbai market.