Fresenius Medical says fourth-quarter operating profit up 3%

FILE PHOTO: Fresenius headquarters in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt, Germany, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Fresenius Medical Care FMEG.DE on Wednesday said quarterly adjusted operating income edged 3% higher as growth in dialysis services and products was partly offset by a negative adjustment for accounts receivable in a legal dispute in North America.

Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax, adjusted for special items, advanced to 655 million euros ($707 million), the group said in a statement, coming in below a median analyst estimate of 689 million euros, according to a company-provided poll.

The kidney dialysis provider, controlled by diversified healthcare group Fresenius SE FREG.DE, reaffirmed a guidance for 2020 revenue and net income to grow at a mid- to high single-digit rate in 2020, when measured without currency swings and excluding special items.

The guidance is based on the adjusted results for 2019, including the acquisition of home dialysis company NxStage, it added.

The group added it was too early to quantify the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China on its Asia-Pacific operations and that its priority was to continue treating its dialysis patients as well as employee safety.

Asia accounted for 11% of its total quarterly revenue of 4.58 billion euros.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker