* Sees 2013 net income of 110 mln euros vs 134 mln expected
* Points to challenges in 2013
* Lowered outlook twice last year on wage increases
(Recasts, adds CEO comment)
FRANKFURT, Feb 21 German hospital operator
Rhoen-Klinikum warned of challenges ahead and kept its
2013 earnings outlook below analysts' expectations after twice
downgrading profit forecasts last year.
"Some of the challenges we face in 2013 are typical of the
industry, while others are of our own making. It will be the
shared responsibility of the management board to quickly improve
the company's position," Chief Executive Martin Siebert said as
the group published 2012 earnings.
The company, which Fresenius unsuccessfully tried
to take over last year, said it expects 2013 net profit of about
110 million euros ($147 million), short of the 134 million euros
average forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
It predicted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) of about 325 million euros ($435 million)
this year, against the poll average of 343 million euros.
Rhoen has been struggling to fix problems at
Giessen-Marburg, Germany's only privately owned university
teaching hospital, and recently struck a restructuring deal with
a regional government there.
It had to cut its full-year outlook twice last year because
of wage increases within the industry and losses at
Giessen-Marburg. An overhaul there was delayed, complicated by
the fact that the German state of Hesse remains in charge of
medical research and teaching at the hospital.
A shareholder spat over the planned takeover by Fresenius,
which led Rhoen to hire expensive consultants, and the
subsequent replacement of top managers also hurt the bottom
EBITDA for 2012 fell 14 percent to 292 million euros,
slightly less than the 294 million euros expected and broadly in
line with the company's reduced guidance.
($1 = 0.7479 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Goodman)