KUALA LUMPUR: IHH Healthcare Bhd
(IHH) is expecting a challenging year ahead, but is optimistic of maintaining its competitive advantage both in the local and global healthcare arena.
IHH managing director and CEO Dr Tan See Leng said on Monday while the global outlook is improving, risks and volatility remain.
"We are exposed to geo-political risks and various currencies.
"Looking ahead, we expect 2017 to be a challenging operating environment but we are already executing on our differentiated strategy successfully," he told reporters after the company AGM.
Separately, Dr Tan declined to comment on news that it is competing with a private equity consortium of TPG and General Atlantic to acquire controlling stakes in India's Fortis Healthcare and Fortis Malhar.
"We look at every single deal out there and there are many attractive assets around the world."
The healthcare provider saw its net profit in the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 double to RM470mil from RM235.5mil in the previous corresponding period, following a RM313.4mil gain from its divestment of a non-core 6.07% stake in Apollo Hospitals.
Revenue during the quarter increased 8.5% to RM2.7bil compared with RM2.5bil in the same period last year, attributed to organic growth from its existing operations and continuous ramp up of the hospitals opened in 2015.
Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, exchange differences and other non-operational items (Ebitda) declined 8% to RM565.6mil, mainly due to start-up costs from the newly opened hospitals, as well as higher operating and staff costs.