We hope to see normal business as we go forward: Azad Moopen

The healthcare industry is back to normal, and business growth now extends beyond pent-up demand according to Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare.

“There has been some pent-up demand, but now we see this as a stabilized business, and that is how it will grow. The revenues from pent-up demand were neutralized by the Covid income from last year, which significantly came down. We hope to see normal business as we go forward,” Moopen told BusinessLine.

Aster’s revenue improved by 12 per cent to ₹2,662 crore in Q1 FY23 compared to ₹2,372 crore reported during the same period last year. Meanwhile, net profits grew by 33 per cent to ₹80 crore on a year-on-year (YoY) basis compared to ₹60 crore in the same quarter last year.

Aster App

The healthcare provider recently launched its app ‘1Aster’ for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and claims to have 100,000 subscriptions since its launch in July. It now plans to bring the app to India after the required changes before the end of FY23.

“We plan to use the app that has been developed in the UAE to license it out to India and make the required customization and changes and launch it in India. This will integrate all the clinics, hospitals, virtual consultancy, pharmacy, and diagnostics all in one place,” said Amitabh Johri, CFO, GCC, and Head of Strategic Initiatives, Aster DM Healthcare.

Indian operations

Aster is looking at investment opportunities for ramping up capacity as part of increasing revenues from Indian operations. Currently, 15 of the total 29 hospitals it operates are in India. The total bed capacity across all hospitals is 3,822.

“Even though our revenue may only be 24 per cent from India, the EBITDA is 29 per cent. So, there is a focus on increasing India’s footprint and we have said that we would like to go to around 40 per cent (revenue contribution) at some point in time,” said Moopen. Its revenue from Indian operations increased 18 per cent YoY to ₹651 crore during the reporting quarter.

The company, which has operations in the GCC and India, recently announced the plan to split the two businesses in order to simplify the company’s business structure. Moopen said, “India and GCC have differences, especially from the business strategy point of view, requirements, and the way in which the investor community looks at these two markets. We saw a need for separation and the board has approved the same.”

The process of the demerger is going as per schedule, he added.

Published on

August 13, 2022

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