South Africa's Mediclinic beats estimates with FY profit jump

JOHANNESBURG Wed May 21, 2014 3:24am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG May 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's biggest private hospital group Mediclinic International Ltd beat forecasts with a 46 percent surge in full-year profit on Wednesday, helped by favourable currency swings and a robust showing at home.

Mediclinic, which also operates in the Middle East and runs the largest private hospital network in Switzerland, said normalised diluted headline EPS totaled 369.1 cents, above a 367-cent estimate in a Reuters' poll of 10 analysts.

Headline EPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.

Sales rose 24 percent to 30.5 billion rand ($2.92 billion).

Demand for private healthcare is increasing in South Africa as a fast-growing middle class takes up medical insurance while the weaker rand currency has boosted overseas profits when they are brought back.

Shares in Mediclinic gained 1.4 percent to 79.10 rand, outpacing a 0.3 percent fall in the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index . ($1 = 10.4368 South African Rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

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