Losing price-competitiveness on macro headwinds
Local patient load (more than two-thirds of its total patient volume) grew at single-digit rate despite some losses of price sensitive patients to public healthcare. Growth of foreign patient load declined at single-digit rate due to stronger SGD against regional currencies. Patient volume from Indonesia contracted but partially offset by higher patient load from China, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Management is still cautiously optimistic of a c.10% FY17F top-line growth supported by growing multidisciplinary medical centres and MCH
Raffles Holland V (opened in June-16) has broken even in 1Q17. Raffles Holland V, which is now near full occupancy, is expected to contribute more significantly to the Group’s profit in coming quarters. Meanwhile, RafflesMedical Orchard and MCH (“MC Holdings”) are targeted to breakeven by end-FY2017.
Persistent staff costs pressure on ongoing recruitment drive
The Group’s staff costs as a percentage of revenue was 53.1% in 1Q17 as compared to 51.0% in FY2016. Staff costs will continue to drag profitability until patient volume picks up in MCH and the two new hospitals in China, providing operating leverage.
Two new hospitals in China slated for completion by end-FY2018; Tapping on China’s growing healthcare market
RafflesHospital Shanghai (400-bed capacity) and the recently announced RafflesHospital Chongqing (700-bed capacity) are expected to start operations with 200 private beds each. Medical clinics in its vicinity, including the MCH clinics in Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Dalian, and Shenzhen, will feed into the two new China hospitals. The Group has also shared earlier of its intention to add two to three new clinics in China. A slowdown in China could lead to a longer time to breakeven for the new hospitals and clinics.
Maintained ‘Accumulate‘. We adjusted our forecasts to include the higher operating expenses and CapEx (“Capital Expenditures”) for RafflesHospital Chongqing, which translates to a lower DCF-derived target price of S$1.49 (previously S1.60). Better-than-expected margins from its China hospitals could lead to re-rating.
Going into net debt position by end-FY2017
The additional CapEx arising from its new hospital in Chongqing will turn the Group’s net cash position of S$89.4mn in 1Q17 to a net debt position by end-FY2017. The remaining CapEx are estimated at:
*SGD1 = RMB4.95
The Group will take on RMB-denominated loans to fund the CapEx of its two China hospitals. These loans will be naturally hedged by the revenue from its China operations somewhat. The S$119 mn cash and cash equivalent (as at end-1Q17), and a c.S$80 mn cash flow from operating activities, should support its dividend payout and CapEx.