SINGAPORE (Aug 10): Singapore O&G, the specialist in women’s and children’s healthcare, announced 1H17 earnings fell 6.4% to $4.1 million from $4.4 million a year ago.

Revenue increased by 2.2% to $14.2 million over the same period last year but EBITDA declined marginally by S$0.2 million or 3.8%, resulting in a corresponding decrease in net profit after tax margin from 31.8% for 1H16 to 29.1% for 1H17.

Singapore O&G says birth rate in Singapore experienced a slight decline in 2Q17 due to the delayed effect of Zika but the impact on the Obstetrics segment of the group was minimal as it still managed to deliver 794 babies in 1H17, only seven less than the same period last year.

As a whole, the group’s core segment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology managed an overall increase of $0.28 million as more gynaecology cases were performed in 1H17.

The cancer-related segment added $1.68 million to the group’s revenue, an improvement of 34.6% as compared to 1H 2016 due to increase in patient loads.

Its dermatology segment however felt the impact of lower medical tourism dollars and it as a decline of $0.41 million, a decrease of 9.4% over the same period last year, maintaining a relatively healthy profit from operations margin of 35.3%.

Employee benefits expense increased by $0.41 million or 7.9% from $5.22 million in 1H16 to $5.63 million in 1H17. The increase was mainly due to the salary and benefits expense of two medical specialists and the requisite clinical staff in obstetrics and gynaecology and breast cancer divisions.

In its outlook, Singapore O&G says it will continue to monitor its expenses for cost containment and this has proven to be successful with only a very slight increase in consumables and medical supplies used. Increase in other operating expenses in 1H17 was mainly due to the setup costs of its new specialist clinics. These two expense categories only increased effective costs by $0.06 million or 3.8%.

Shares in Singapore O&G last traded at 49 cents.