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Thomson Medical Group narrows Q4 net loss to S$1.16m

MAINBOARD-LISTED Thomson Medical Group, which used to trade as Rowsley, narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter, on the absence of losses from discontinued real estate operations.

Net loss shrank to S$1.16 million for the three months to Dec 31, 2019, from S$4.46 million in the same period the year before, even as income tax expenses shredded the bottom line.

"Excluding the effect of the real property gain tax increase in Malaysia, the group would have recorded a net profit after tax of S$2.1 million," Thomson Medical said in a statement on Wednesday.

Still, turnover was up 4.3 per cent to S$58.6 million, which it attributed to more in-patients, higher average bill sizes, and greater revenue intensity - that is, average revenue per in-patient admission - at its hospitals and specialist clinics in Singapore and Malaysia.

Loss per share for the quarter came to 0.004 Singapore cent, shrinking from 0.017 cent before, while net asset value shrank to 2.48 Singapore cents from 3.01 cents.

For the full year, Thomson Medical posted a net loss of S$1.67 million, against a profit of S$2.16 million before, even as revenue increased by 6.6 per cent to S$229.8 million.

Thomson Medical should stay in the black in the year ahead, "barring any unforeseen circumstances or a further severe deterioration of the current Covid-19 epidemic", the board said in its outlook statement, referring to the respiratory disease ravaging the globe.

But it warned: "If the epidemic persists or deteriorates to a pandemic, it may affect the business of the group, especially for elective and non-urgent cases."

Otherwise, Thomson Medical is carrying on with its planned expansion, including the move to a bigger new fertility facility in Paragon Medical Centre in January, as well as the ongoing addition of an obstetric and gynaecological clinic, and expanding paediatric operations. The development of a 400-bed wing at Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara in Malaysia "is progressing as scheduled" too, the board added.

No dividend was recommended for the period, unchanged from the year before.

Thomson Medical shares fell 0.1 Singapore cent or 1.67 per cent to S$0.059 on Wednesday before the results were announced.