2018 was an eventful year for GHP where we amongst other things continued the work of strengthening our financial results. When we summarise the year, we can note that we have passed the dip in 2017. We are delighted to have achieved this at the same time as we continued to invest resources in starting new businesses and developing new offerings.
We ended the year with GHP's best quarterly results so far. There was high demand for our business in the Nordic region and our business in International can look back on an intense quarter. Our Vårdsamverkan segment successfully managed strong growth by continuing to develop business models and digital tools that attract insurance companies.
Our Nordic region segment displayed strong growth throughout the year. Most of this growth comes from improved capacity utilisation in our existing clinics. In order to be able to meet the high demand from patients and purchasers, it is important that we constantly focus on using our existing resources in an optimal manner. Furthermore, we are expanding our clinics and starting new businesses, thus further strengthening our position as the leading specialty care provider in the Nordic region. We are also pleased to see that most of the clinics in the Nordic region experienced a positive development of results in the quarter. When there is increased demand for our clinics, the importance of good employees and responsible leadership also increases. It is crucial for us that we are successful in these areas and we will continue to invest in developing our employees and managers.
In International, where our remuneration is largely based on how well we manage to develop quality and care in the hospitals in the United Arab Emirates, we have taken several steps forward in 2018. I feel great respect for and pride in this work. Operating in this part of the world means challenges and decisions that are very different from what we meet in the Nordic region. At the same time the opportunities for achieving improvements are also greater and the positive results are more evident. For example, we have been able to introduce modern gynaecology and obstetric care where women suffering from genital disorders can now receive help. These women usually suffered in silence before. In the fourth quarter GHP carried out an unusually high number of activities related to the hospitals, which is also positively reflected in revenues for the quarter. We are convinced that GHP's experience and focus on quality can do a lot of good in the region. During the fourth quarter we therefore continued to invest in business development. We have good dialogues regarding potential collaboration with purchasers from several countries and in some cases more concrete discussions regarding management contracts. As usual it is difficult to assess the time horizon and the likelihood of these types of processes bearing fruit, but we have naturally set our sights on securing new deals in International in 2019.
Another area where we see very exciting development is in our Vårdsamverkan segment. During the quarter we launched our proprietary app for health improvement, digital guidance and integration with our physiotherapy app. We have also started our first major investment in digi-physical care by establishing GHP Medicinskt Centrum in central Stockholm, which is for patients with health care insurance. Even though these types of new venture often entail certain costs, we are convinced that they will be an important component in health care services of the future and that they strengthen our offering to insurance companies. In the fourth quarter Vårdsamverkan bought health care from both GHP's Nordic clinics and from external care providers. As we gain a deeper, unique understanding of patients' health care needs, we will be able to further optimise the care chain and thus also reduce health care costs in Vårdsamverkan and create profitability. Vårdsamverkan already creates profitability in the Group through all the care that is purchased from the Nordic region segment.
To summarise, GHP as a whole, as well as each segment, is in a positive phase, but at the same time we still have a lot left to develop. We will continue on the journey that we have begun, with well-considered growth and with the focus on giving patients high-quality care every day.
20 February 2019
GHP Specialty Care AB (publ)