3fivetwo reports dip in turnover but figures hint at recovery

Northern Ireland’s largest private healthcare provider 3fivetwo Medical Group has reported further decline in turnover but said it is expecting growth to return following implementation of a new strategy focused on the private pay market.

The company, which operates a number of clinics and the Kingsbridge private hospital in Belfast as well as the Cosmetech cosmetic surgery business, has seen its income plummet by 35% since 2014 when Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board ordered trusts to pause private sector referrals in a bid to save money.

Although the ban has since been lifted, the company said the ‘vagaries’ in public health systems in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland had had a detrimental impact on its performance over the last three years.

Turnover was down 17% to £25.8m in the year to March 2018 but the repositioning of the business away from waiting list work began to bear fruit with roughly 80% of revenue derived from private sector income against just 45% in 2016. The company said this had contributed towards a return to profitability in the second half – a trend it expects to continue this year.

Cost of sales reduced by 19% to £17.4m while administrative expenses came in at £10.2m against £11.7m the previous year, leading to reduced operating losses of £1.7m (2017: £2.2m).

After profit of £420,000 on the sale of its fertility business 352F and other expenses, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.9m against a loss of £2.5m in 2017.