March 11, 2010 / 9:26 AM / 9 years ago

Nestor Healthcare FY pretax profit down; upbeat about 2010

* Pretax profit 7.3 mln stg vs 30.4 mln stg yr-ago

* Sales down 6.9 pct to 152.0 mln stg

* Raises FY div 10 pct to 1.65p

* Sees social care volume growth continuing

* Shares up 5.1 pct (Adds details)

March 11 (Reuters) - Healthcare staffing specialist Nestor Healthcare Group Plc NSR.L posted a 76 percent drop in full-year pretax profit, hurt partly by a loss from the sale of one of its segments, but gave a positive outlook for 2010, sending its shares up 5 percent.

The company also raised its full-year dividend by 10 percent to 1.65 pence a share.

The company has two segments — primary care, which includes walk-in health centres, and social care, which provides personnel for home care among other services.

Nestor Healthcare said the momentum of volume growth from its social care segment, which contributed nearly 70 percent of the company’s revenue, had been sustained in the early months of 2010 and expects it to continue.

“The recent extensions of current contracts, and our improving record in winning new business, point to an increasingly positive outlook for primary care,” the company said.

For the year ended Dec. 31, the company posted a pretax profit of 7.3 million pounds ($10.9 million), compared with 30.4 million pounds in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 6.9 percent to 152.0 million pounds.

Nestor Healthcare incurred a loss of 259,000 pounds, compared with a gain of 31.1 million pounds a year ago, from the sale of its Carewatch segment, its social care franchise business.

Shares of the company were trading up 5.1 percent at 51.50 pence at 0920 GMT on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange.

$1=.6687 Pound Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal

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