Second quarter 2021
First half year 2021
The second quarter of the year was eventful and in many respects the starting point for the next stage of GHP’s development, as we have an unusual number of exciting ventures up and running in all three of our segments. Our organic growth was strong in the quarter and new ventures contribute to us being able to continue to grow.
As the degree of vaccination increases, we also see that our clinics are beginning to return to a more normal situation. This is important as we know that there will be a great need for health care when the backlog in care due to the pandemic is dealt with. A return to a more normal situation is also important for our clinics to be able to function optimally. In the second quarter we were still impacted by the fact that patients cancelled appointments and that we had a greater degree of sick leave for our staff. These are temporary challenges that we anticipate we will no longer have after the summer.
Our new ventures in occupational health care are really exciting. In Sweden more than 3 million people are offered occupational health care by their employers. For several years GHP has developed health care models where we take overall responsibility for the health care needs of a population. These models are highly suited to being combined with occupational health care services. Avoiding sick leave is of great value, but the same is true of quickly getting back people who have received care at work. It is these opportunities that lie behind us entering into extensive collaboration during the quarter with Avonova in their investments in health care insurance and investing in Qurant Företagshälsa, where we see exciting potential to develop brand new joint offerings.
In the Nordic Region we have several interesting start-up projects up and running and most of the clinics had a strong quarter. Our clinics in Skåne and Gothenburg continue to have high patient volumes. In Stockholm the larger clinics were negatively impacted by greater sick leave for the staff than normal. It was also from these clinics that we seconded most staff to the public care sector during the winter. In Copenhagen profitability was considerably lower than normal during the quarter. During the pandemic public sector health care in Denmark has directed volumes to private health care providers, but this has been done on an irregular basis that has led to us having expensive over-capacity at the clinic for certain periods.
In International we have taken care of a great number of Covid patients in the UAE for certain periods during the quarter. Despite these challenges, the hospitals in the UAE developed well during the spring. In terms of the agreement we are largely in agreement with our opposite party and are working in line with a draft agreement that has been worked out, but the completion of the agreement has continued to take time, something which is not unusual in the region.
In Kuwait the hospital that GHP runs had strong growth during the quarter, which is impressive as there are still relatively comprehensive restrictions in the country. Our investment in establishing diabetes clinics in Saudi intensified during the quarter. As the restrictions are eased, we have at last had the opportunity to meet physically. In the past month the Ministry of Health once again visited us in Ajman at the same time as we have had many high-level meetings and talks in Riyadh. We see continuing great potential in this investment and we hope to have an agreement in place during the autumn.
Our Vårdsamverkan segment had an eventful quarter, during which we carried out exciting business development projects, such as Avonova and Qurant. We have now developed a complete product with an in-house care provider network over the whole country. We have also started work on being able to launch a patient platform where patients will be able to have full control of their care and which follows them during their entire health care encounter. At the same time we are carefully following how the consumption pattern for care develops in the wake of the pandemic. We see that demand for health care is now increasing and we expect that the consumption of care will be at a high level during the autumn. However, in insurance there is not at all the same backlog in care as in the public sector as this care has not been shut down in the same way as public health care.
We now put an intensive quarter behind us where our businesses once again showed that they can successfully manage challenges and opportunities and where we are in a strong position to grow in our existing business and take on new businesses. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking our employees for their hard work and commitment during the year. It is their input that enables GHP to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Have a good summer!