IHH Healthcare has reported a 217% y-o-y surge in earnings of RM375.6 million ($120.1 million) for the 1QFY2021 ended March, due to strong EBITDA growth.

This comes without the impairment for Global Hospitals in India and foreign currency translation losses for its joint venture project, Khubchandani Hospitals in India that was factored in during the corresponding period the year before.

Khubchandani Hospitals was deemed substantively liquidated in 1QFY2020.

Revenue during the quarter improved 11% q-o-q to RM3.9 billion due to the delivery of Covid-19-related services and contribution from Prince Court Medical Centre, and offset by the negative impact from the pandemic.

In its 1Q results update, the group says it is seeing a gradual return of local patients, including elective cases, to its hospitals.

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Correspondingly, EBITDA increased 31% y-o-y to RM960.6 million.

SEE:Mitsui weighs buyout of $15.88 bil for IHH Healthcare

Net operating income rose 77% y-o-y to RM335.8 million on the group’s stronger operating performance and higher share of profits from joint ventures and associates. During the 1QFY2021, the group registered lower depreciation and amortization expenses and net finance costs.

In the 1QFY2021, the group generated net cash from operating activities of RM0.57 billion.

Its balance sheet registered an overall cash balance of RM4.6 billion and net gearing of 0.26 times as at end-March, compared to the 0.28 times as at end-December 2020.

Looking ahead, the resurgence of cases across the group’s markets will see near-term headwinds.

To mitigate the impact, IHH says it will execute targeted strategies across each market to ensure “sustained” growth in its earnings.

It adds that it will align efforts to innovate and deliver healthcare digitally, as well as leverage synergies from IHH’s international network and build platforms for growth through its cluster strategy.

It also seeks to diversify into new revenue streams including Covid-19-related services.

Overall, it remains confident that its longer-term growth trajectory “remains intact”.

In Malaysia, IHH saw 1QFY2021 revenue grow 10% y-o-y to RM611.9 million due to the inclusion of contribution from Prince Court Medical Centre and increased contribution from Pantai Laboratory on performing more Covid-19 tests.

EBITDA in Malaysia grew 1% y-o-y to RM150.7 million.

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IHH’s Singapore market saw revenue improve by 14% y-o-y to RM1.16 billion mainly due to Covid-19-related services rendered.

EBITDA was up 27% y-o-y to RM417.5 million.

IHH’s operations in Turkey and Europe saw revenue grow 11% y-o-y to RM1.1 billion, and EBITDA up 29% y-o-y to RM279.8 million.

Revenue in India grew 11% y-o-y to RM830.6 million due to Covid-19-related services rendered and the recovery of non-Covid-19 inpatient admissions.

EBITDA rose 68% y-o-y to RM116.4 million.

IMU Health saw revenue decline 11% y-o-y to RM59.8 million mainly due to a higher base in 1QFY2020 from a one-off RM3.8 million income from its seminar.

Revenue also fell due to Malaysia’s movement restriction orders (MCO), which caused the segment to adjust its academic calendar. Student intake for certain courses also decreased. EBITDA fell by 21% y-o-y for the segment.

PLife REIT saw stable revenue at RM37.9 million. EBITDA was up 26% y-o-y to RM89.0 million due to a RM15.6 million gain on divestment of an investment property in Japan.

Shares in IHH closed 2 cents lower or 1.2% down at $1.71 on May 31.