We have started the year with GHP's best first quarter so far and once again we have a quarter with good organic growth. We have a strong culture of continuous development, with good momentum in each individual clinic. This is the foundation of the good quality and financial results. Furthermore, it attracts new employees and results in good growth.
When we have a good underlying business, it also creates scope for development and new initiatives. During the quarter we opened our new orthopaedic clinic at Gärdet in Stockholm. This is an initiative that initially entails some start-up costs, but it will make a positive contribution over time and will be appreciated by both our customers and our patients.
Our Nordic region segment continued to grow in the period and our revenues increased in all the submarkets of the segment. As we can see that the demand for high-quality specialist care continues to increase, we have continued to create more capacity at our clinics. In March yet another operating theatre was completed in Copenhagen and we managed to recruit more skilled specialists for our clinics during the first quarter. Another important area for our financial development is that choice of care and procurement processes are reasonably designed and encourage sound behaviour. Here we are actively working on supporting the development of structures through dialogue with the purchasers. This is long-term work but we have already seen that we can make a difference by focusing on this question.
Our International segment had an eventful quarter. Development of the four hospitals in the UAE continued in a positive direction, where the health care staff in the hospitals each day do important work to improve care and look after patients well. Our remuneration in the UAE is impacted amongst other things by in what quarter certain defined activities are carried out, which means that revenues can vary from quarter to quarter. During the first quarter there were somewhat fewer activities, which is also reflected in the revenues and results for the quarter. This means that later on in the year we will carry out all the more activities.
During the first few months of the year we have spent time explaining why it is so important that GHP is present in the United Arab Emirates. During the two years or so that we have run the hospitals we have been able, together with the authorities, to considerably develop the hospital care provided. For example, considerably more of the serious trauma cases that come to A&E survive and we have introduced modern obstetric care. For each and every one of the approximately 250,000 patients that seek care at the hospitals each year, GHP's presence has only had a positive effect.
There is a great unmet need for health care in the region and we are convinced that GHP is in a good position to meet this need. We have therefore continued to concentrate on business development during the first quarter. Our business development team is focusing on securing new management contracts in the Middle East during 2019.
GHP's third segment, Vårdsamverkan, continued to work during the quarter on helping insurance companies to offer patients an effective encounter with health care that is clearly coupled to high quality outcomes. We now have an efficient model where our way of working creates value for patients, insurance companies and GHP. Vårdsamverkan functions as an independent business of its own where we purchase care from both GHP's own clinics and external clinics. During the first quarter we established tools to be able to further analyse and optimise care chains in a structured manner and we are constantly developing our digital offering so as to be able to meet insurance companies' and patients' needs.
It is now crucial that we continue to develop our segments to ensure that we realise the great potential which exists in each and every one of them and which creates a really strong whole.
23 April 2019
GHP Specialty Care AB (publ)