FRANKFURT, April 10 Germany's second-largest
private hospitals chain Asklepios Kliniken GmbH,
which sources have said may seek a stock market listing, widened
its core earnings margin to 9.8 percent last year, edging past
Citing preliminary figures, Asklepios said earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 6.4
percent to 284 million euros ($393 million), on sales of 2.9
billion, helped by cost cuts and the purchase of a speciality
clinic. The firm's 2012 EBITDA margin was 9.5 percent.
The EBITDA margin at closest rival Rhoen narrowed to 9.1
percent last year from 10.2 percent in 2012, hobbled by
organisational problems at university teaching hospital
Asklepios, however, remained less profitable than the
hospital industry's No.1 Helios, a unit of Fresenius,
where EBITDA rose 18 percent to 508 million euros last year for
a margin of 15 percent.
The owner of Asklepios is considering a stock market
listing, among other options, to give the firm access to more
funding in a rapidly consolidating industry, people familiar
with the matter told Reuters in February.
Bernard Broermann, the group's owner and founder, is keen
for the firm to remain independent, while the Helios unit of
diversified healthcare group Fresenius is growing fast by
scooping up hospitals.
Fresenius in February wrapped up the purchase of 40
hospitals and 13 outpatient facilities from Rhoen for a price of
about 3 billion euros.
Asklepios is due to report detailed 2013 results on April
($1 = 0.7285 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Keiron Henderson)