French care home group Orpea targets Chinese market

PARIS, April 30 Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:04am EDT

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PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - French care home operator Orpea said it plans to expand in China, its first market outside Europe, to capitalise on an ageing population that is expected to boom in the coming years.

The company said on Tuesday it was creating a unit in China in order to start building medical homes in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

The number of people in China aged over 60 is expected to soar to 450 million by 2050 from 185 million today, with around 150 million of those expected to be over 80, Orpea said.

"Faced with this demographic explosion, the care offering is very limited," Orpea said.

"The country will therefore have to massively increase the number of medical facilities capable of offering long-term care for highly dependent people and care for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease."

Orpea, which also operates in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, confirmed its full-year targets after first-quarter sales rose 14 percent to 385 million euros ($504 million). ($1 = 0.7634 euros) (Reporting by Alice Cannet; Editing by James Regan)

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