May 7, 2020 / 6:14 AM / a month ago

Clinic chain Rhoen says COVID regulation to weigh on 2020 earnings

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of German healthcare company Rhoen-Klinikum AG are pictured in Bad Neustadt near Fulda September 3, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German clinic chain Rhoen Klinikum AG (RHKG.DE) expects the effects of “excessive” hospital regulation in the coronavirus crisis to weigh on its 2020 earnings as planned surgeries are being postponed to keep intensive-care beds free for COVID-19 patients.

“We do not believe that the regulations which are included in the COVID-19 Hospital Relief Act will be enough to compensate the significant losses”, the company said on Thursday as it reported a drop in first-quarter core earnings by half.

“We are also observing with great concern that far fewer patients who should be visiting the emergency outpatients department given the severity of their conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, are avoiding being admitted there out of fear of being infected by the virus.”

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization came in at 13.9 million euros ($15.01 million), compared to 28.7 million in the year-earlier period, while revenues edged up to 333 million euros.

Costs related to the 1.2 billion takeover offer by peer Asklepios also hit first-quarter earnings. These will add up to 6-7 million euros in the full year, Rhoen said.

Rhoen’s management and supervisory board reviewed the offer and concluded that the offer price of 18 euros per share is adequate, the company added.

Rhoen expects to post revenues around 1.4 billion this year and EBITDA of 72.5-82.5 million euros, it said.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Michelle Martin

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