Q & M Dental Group Ltd – Pursuing operating leverage post-record expansion March 10, 2023 647

PSR Recommendation: BUY Status: Maintained
Last Close Price: 0.24 Target Price: 0.47
  • Revenue met expectations but earnings were below. FY22 revenue and adjusted PATMI were 99%/90% of our forecast. The significant drop in COVID-19 related earnings and higher expenses in the development of AI-guided clinical support systems were the drag.
  • Our adjusted PATMI excludes S$5.1mn of impairment of inventories (S$4.9mn) and plant and equipment (S$0.2mn) incurred in 4Q22.
  • We are lowering our FY23e PATMI by 17% to S$17.9mn. After increasing the number of clinics by a record 34 (or 30%) over the past two years, the focus is to raise utilisation. Q&M continues to recruit dentists to fill its existing chain of clinics and upgrade the skills of dentists. Our BUY recommendation is maintained but target price lowered to S$0.47 (prev. S$0.52). We value the company at 25x PE FY22 earnings, in line with industry peers. Listed associate, Aoxin Q & M Dental (S$0.115, Not Rated), is valued at market price with a 20% discount.

 

The Positive

+ Number of clinics expanded. In FY22, Q&M expanded the number of clinics by 16 (or 12%). Most of the new clinics were in Singapore, with 10 new clinics. Profitability from core dental operations tripled to S$3.4mn. This was due to a change in the accrual of staff bonuses from a lumpy 4Q to proportionate provisioning per quarter.

The Negative

– Revenue per clinic declined. 4Q22 revenue per clinic declined by 12% YoY to S$382k. New clinics have not reached maturity, as nurse shortages and the re-opening of borders have dampened visits. Nevertheless, total revenue from core dental was flat YoY at S$46.2mn.

 

Outlook

The priority in FY23 is to raise the utilisation of the existing clinics. After the aggressive expansion over the past two years (34 clinics), the company will look to raise visits and revenue intensity per patient. Recruitment into the existing network of clinics will boost the availability of dentists. Improving the skill sets of the current dentists is another initiative to increase revenue intensity. Q & M is also pursuing an AI-guided dental software that creates an ethical standard cum procedures that supports dentists.

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About the author

Profile photo of Paul Chew

Paul Chew
Head of Research
Phillip Securities Research Pte Ltd

Paul has 20 years of experience as a fund manager and sell-side analyst. During his time as fund manager, he has managed multiple funds and mandates including capital guaranteed, dividend income, renewable energy, single country and regionally focused funds.

He graduated from Monash University and had completed both his Chartered Financial Analyst and Australian CPA programme.

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