KPJ to focus on Malaysia for now

“My focus would be to maximise the hospitals that we have, to optimise them," Chin said.

KUALA LUMPUR: KPJ Healthcare Bhd will capitalise on medical tourism and fully utilise its existing assets to deliver growth for shareholders in the coming year.

KPJ Healthcare president and managing director Chin Keat Chyuan said he is confident of sustaining the healthcare provider’s strong growth momentum in the near future as it aims to drive its earnings moving forward, mainly from its Malaysian hospitals.

The group’s net profit for its full financial year 2023 (FY23) that was recently announced jumped 57.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM263.4mil.

Its revenue in the same period also rose y-o-y by 19% to RM3.42bil.

The improvement in its financials was due to its earlier decision to hive off some of its loss-making assets overseas while it had also seen an improvement in its continuing business.

“Our bed occupancy rate jumped from last year (FY22) at 58%, to close to 67% and this contributed quite significantly for us.

“Even our in-patient (admissions) also saw a jump to close to 19% and now we have had about 360,000 in-patients,” said Chin at a media briefing yesterday.

He said the growth momentum recorded could be sustained moving forward given the company’s plans to work its assets in Malaysia to their full potential.

“It can’t be one-off quarter kind of achievement. There are a few things we are looking at.

“Firstly, how we can be more competitive in the market. We are really focused on the Malaysian market after we have walked away from some of the loss-making overseas investments.

“As you can see in September last year we fully exited an Indonesian asset while in the Australian market we also walked away from the aged-care business there,” Chin said.

“Even for our Dhaka, Bangladesh, business we are still assessing whether the business there is viable or sustainable.

“The only overseas business which we are continuing for now is our investment in Thailand where we have a hospital that actually focuses a lot on health tourism, especially in the area of orthopaedics, which is doing very well,” he added.

Amid a broader consolidation in the country’s private-healthcare system, Chin said there is a need to stay competitive and one of the ways is for KPJ Healthcare to capitalise on medical tourism.

“In all the 29 hospitals that we have now, we would like to maximise this.

“In this asset-intensive business, instead of continuing to build more where I will still have the issue of gestation periods.

“My focus would be to maximise the hospitals that we have, to optimise them. Then only the would next stage be to think of expansion plans,” Chin said.

The company has a new 60-bed hospital in Kuala Selangor, which will be up by the end of this year or early next year.

“It is in a strategic location, as there are no other private hospitals other than government hospitals nearby.

“And with this addition, we will then have 30 hospitals in the KPJ group,” he said.

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