Abano Healthcare is continuing with its aggressive growth strategy as it looks to build its domination in the dental and audiology markets.
During the first three months of its financial year Abano acquired four dental practices and two audiology practices in New Zealand, and nine dental practices in Australia.
Abano chief financial officer Richard Keys said every year for the foreseeable future Abano would be acquiring between eight and 10 dental practices in New Zealand.
In Australia it would be acquiring up to a further 10 before the end of the financial year, which would see it have between 15 and 20 dental practices.
Abano is holding investor meetings across New Zealand this week, detailing its progress in the last year.
The two New Zealand audiology acquisitions, which include Dunedin Hearing, a long-standing chain with six clinics, would add more than $3.5 million in revenue per annum to Bay Audiology.
The company expected to open between six to nine audiology sites in New Zealand this year.
In July, Abano announced its annual net profit rose 56 per cent to $7.8m, from the 2007 year. Turnover increased 38.5% to $123.9m. It expected net profit to reach $10.5m this financial year.
"We are a growth company. We've been growing for the last five to seven years, particularly over the last three years as our strategy has become more evident to the market."
Abano has been funding the acquisitions through bank debt, which has risen by more than three times from $12.3m in the year ended May 31, 2007, to $33.9m in the last financial year.
Keys was not worried about the company's level of debt.
He said Abano had an existing bank facility which could see it borrow more than $60m.
"It's not a concern; in fact previously our debt balance was probably far too light given the total assets and equity in the business."
Abano shares rose 10c yesterday to close at 510c.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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