SINGAPORE (May 14): Q&M Dental Group, the private dental healthcare group in Asia, reported a 20% fall in earnings of $3.6 million for the 1Q19 ended March from a year ago.

Revenue for 1Q19 grew 4% to $29.9 million from a year ago.

Revenue from the group’s dental and medical clinics increased 3% to $27.5 million for 1Q19, thanks to higher revenue from the Singapore operations.

As at March 31, the group had a total of 74 dental outlets and 4 medical outlets in operations in Singapore, 18 dental outlets in Malaysia and one dental outlet in China. This compared to 69 dental outlets and four medical outlets in Singapore, 14 dental outlets in Malaysia and one in the China as at end March 2018.

Revenue contribution from the dental equipment and supplies distribution business, increased 20% to $2.4 million with higher revenue coming in from Malaysia.

As at March 31, the group maintained its distribution of dental equipment and supplies capabilities with two distribution and supplies companies in Singapore and one in Malaysia.

Total key operating expenses for 1Q19 increased by 4% to $24.1 million for 1Q19. The increase in key operating expenses were in line with revenue increase.

Other expenses increased by 19% to $1.8 million for 1Q19 from $1.5 million in 1Q18 mainly due to increased legal and professional fees for Singapore and Malaysia.

Other gains -- net for 1Q19 -- amounted to $0.8 million compared to $0.6 million for 1Q18. The increase in 1Q19 was mainly due to the recognition of profit guarantee vendors/shareholders of acquired companies.

Share of profit from associates decreased 62% to $0.5 million due to lower share of profit from Aidite and share of loss from Aoxin Q&M.

Profit from Aidite decreased due to an increase in employee benefits expense because of increase in workforce. Aoxin Q&M suffered losses in 1Q19 mainly due to gestation losses from new hospitals and clinics opened or to be opened in 2018/2019 and loss incurred in an existing polyclinic.

As at end March, Q&M had cash and cash equivalents of $25 million.

In its outlook statement, Q&M intends to add at least 10 dental clinics each in Singapore and Malaysia for 2019. Year to date, the group has opened one clinic at The Poiz Centre, Singapore and three clinics in Malaysia.

Rental agreements have also been signed to open one dental new clinic in Paya Lebar, Singapore which will commence operations in 3Q19 and six new dental clinics in Malaysia in 2019. In China, the group is actively working on opportunities to acquire established dental institutions and dental supplies manufacturers.

Shares in Q&M closed at 46 cents on Tuesday.