Ascendis Health reports massive loss of Rand 674million in six months to December

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Through Sandile Mchunu Apr 1, 2021

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DURBAN – ASCENDIS Health suffered a massive loss of Rand 673.80 million yesterday from a profit of Rand 204.96 million last year as rising debt, rising financial costs, rising financial costs, Tax charges and write-downs hurt its performance in the six months ending in December.

The health and wellness company said it suffered a depreciation of Rand 246 million during the period, with a tax burden reaching R 139 million and net debt reaching R 6.6 billion.

The group said that lowered its normalized overall profit by 131% to a loss of R43 million, with a normalized overall loss per share from continuing operations of 9 cents per share.

He said revenues, however, jumped 33 percent to Rand 3.98 billion, despite the losses, with normalized operating profit rising 27 percent to Rand 486 million.

Chief Executive Mark Sardi said the group has benefited from its largely defensive portfolio against Covid-19 and increased its international revenues by 35%, with revenues from South African operations increasing by 30%.

“While there are still uncertainties regarding the future impact of Covid19, our priorities remain to protect the health and safety of employees and stakeholders, maintain business continuity and ensure the availability of lifesaving products. to help fight the pandemic, ”Sardi said. .

In South Africa, Medical Devices was the best performing company, with a 59% revenue acceleration thanks to its supply of ventilators, respirators and testing products in high demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the group said the profit from those Covid-19-related sales was partly offset by restrictions on elective surgeries in hospitals and fewer trauma cases during the lockdown period. Ascendis continued its process of selling non-core assets and during the period selling Scitec International in Hungary for R90 million and Ascendis Direct Selling for R10.5 million.

At the start of the month, it also sold its pharma offering and its pharma doctor and dispensing doctor activity, Dezzo Trading.

The group said the divestiture of the Animal Health and Biosciences businesses are both at an advanced stage of negotiations.

Ascendis has announced plans to recapitalize its balance sheet, with UK firm Blantyre Capital and L1 Health, two members of the consortium of lenders holding the firm’s debt, indicating that they have collectively increased their exposure to over 75% of the debt.

The group said these lenders also expressed the view that the divestiture of core assets undertaken by Ascendis was not in the long-term best interests of the company and its stakeholders.

Sardi said Blantyre and L1 Health have proposed a recapitalization to allow the group to reduce its high level of debt, the need for short-term financing and maximize the long-term strategic value of the business.

“Our board and management have entered into consensual negotiations with Blantyre and L1 Health on the recapitalization of the company and we aim to reach an agreement on the recapitalization structure by the end of April,” he said. he declares.

Ascendis shares rose 2.04% on the JSE yesterday to close at 0.50 rand.

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