The business development of Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA gradually stabilised in the first nine months of 2021. The consolidation of Rhön-Klinikum AG caused revenue and earnings to increase on the previous year. The healthcare group has put the right structures in place to ensure that its patients receive the best-possible medical treatment under the highest hygiene standards even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is experiencing another peak.
In the period from January to September 2021, the healthcare facilities of the Asklepios Group treated a total of around 2.4 million patients (9M 2020: 1.9 million), of which 554,135 were admitted as inpatients and 1,840,977 as outpatients. The number of cost weights went up to 458,214 (9M 2020: 327,025). Asklepios had an average of around 50,000 full-time employees in the first nine months of 2021.
The Asklepios Group generated consolidated revenue of EUR 3,818.8 million in the first nine months of 2021, up 24.4 percent on the same period of the previous year (9M 2020: EUR 3,070.9 million). Owing to the first-time consolidation of Rhön-Kliniken as at 1 July 2020, the figures are comparable with those for the previous year to a limited extent only. The cost of materials ratio (9M 2021: 24.0°percent; 9M 2020: 21.8 percent) increased significantly. The staff costs ratio (9M 2021: 65.5°percent; 9M 2020: 65.7 percent) was on par with the previous year. At EUR 387.9 million, EBITDA was higher than in the previous year (9M 2020: EUR 292.6 million). The EBITDA margin was 10.2°percent (9M 2020: 9.5 percent). Consolidated net operating income (EAT) came to EUR°99.2°million (9M 2020: EUR 57.5 million).
In view of current cases, Asklepios assumes that the fourth wave will have a considerable impact on hospital operations in the next few months. The situation is made worse by the fact that there are currently fewer usable intensive care beds than there were a year ago on account of the ongoing shortage of specialist staff and obligations under the Nursing Staff Thresholds Regulation (Pflegepersonaluntergrenzenverordnung). On 18 November, the Ministerial Conference of the Federal States therefore requested the temporary suspension of these regulations. At local level, health authorities and disaster management agencies are again calling for the postponement of elective surgeries. Under this new exceptional situation as well, Asklepios’ Group-wide COVID task force is constantly evaluating the measures needed to reliably fulfil the healthcare mandate.
“Despite our positive performance in the last few months, absolute caution is required in light of the current situation: The current figures clearly show that the pandemic is not over,” said Kai Hankeln, CEO of the Asklepios Group. “As a hospital operator, we have learnt our lessons from the pandemic and are structurally well prepared for the fourth wave. But there are difficult weeks ahead. After months of the pandemic, many employees are understandably exhausted and almost resigned given the resurgent rise in COVID-19 cases and the still too-high number of those not vaccinated.”
Hafid Rifi, CFO, added: “Now it is the job chiefly of legislators and the new federal government to take the right action to ensure that hospitals and hospital staff are not stretched to their limit again. Nonetheless, Asklepios has a sound basis: the early refinancing of schuldschein loan agreements via an exchange and increase offer on 8 November 2021 extends the volume-weighted average term of our maturity profile considerably and improves our financing situation. We are sure that we will weather the ongoing pandemic well in economic terms.”
In light of recent developments in cases, Asklepios expects that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the rest of the financial year and the first few months of 2022 again and will impact the business development of Asklepios Kliniken.
Asklepios Kliniken is one of the leading private operators of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Germany. The hospital group stands for highly qualified care for its patients, with a clear commitment to medical quality, innovation and social responsibility. On this basis, Asklepios has been developing dynamically since it was founded over 35 years ago. The Group currently has around 170 healthcare facilities throughout Germany. These include acute care hospitals of all different care levels, university hospitals, specialist clinics, psychiatric facilities, forensic institutions, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes and medical centres. In the 2020 financial year, over 2.6 million patients were treated at the Asklepios Group’s facilities. The company has more than 67,000 employees.