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Euro labs boost Sonic Healthcare's profit

Christian Edwards  |  15 Feb 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Sonic Healthcare's (ASX: SHL) first-half profit has grown 16 per cent to $228.6 million as the pathology and radiology services group achieved revenue growth in each of its global operations.

Sonic's Australian laboratory business, its largest, generated revenue growth of five per cent in the six months to December as it continued to recover from regulatory changes to GP bulk billing on pathology and imaging services.

Revenue growth was strongest in Europe, up 12.6 per cent, as the company won an exclusive contract to provide lab services to two London hospitals, and completed the acquisition of two lab groups in Germany.

Chief executive Colin Goldschmidt said the company's US business improved its margins despite the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey in the half year.

"Achieving a 20 basis point margin improvement in these circumstances is an outstanding result," Dr Goldschmidt said.

Sonic's half year profit also got a $20 million boost from the revaluation of deferred tax liabilities following changes to US tax rates.

The company's first-half pre-tax earnings were up nine per cent from a year earlier, and Sonic said it is on track to achieve its forecast annual pre-tax earnings growth of between six and eight per cent.

Sonic shares were down 72 cents, or three per cent, at $23.48 at 1220 AEDT.


* Half year net profit up 12.6pc to $228.6m

* Revenue up 7.9pc to $2.67bn

* Partially franked interim dividend up 1 cent to 32 cents


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