First quarter 2021
We have begun 2021 with quarterly results that are the best so far for GHP. This is especially pleasing as we still have many opportunities remaining to work on. The pandemic also impacted us negatively in several parts of our business during this quarter. We periodically seconded personnel to public sector health care and when our employees and patients are sick this places great demands on our clinics. At the same time we see that there is very great demand for health care, which means that we anticipate that we will face high pressure for a long time to come.
The great need for good specialty health care means that we are now further focusing on growing organically in a more systematic way. During the quarter we revised our financial objectives, which involve achieving average organic growth of 15 percent per year over a
three-year period and an EBIT margin of at least 7 percent. In recent years we have started up several new clinics and we have both the knowledge and the resources to continue this expansion. Naturally, we also want to continue to grow through new agreements and new collaboration in International and Vårdsamverkan with selective aquisitions.
During the first quarter we had organic growth of over 7 percent despite the fact that growth in all our three segments was held back by the pandemic.
In the Nordic Region the majority of the clinics continue to develop in a positive direction. The businesses in Skåne and Gothenburg once again had a strong quarter. In Stockholm and in Copenhagen the pandemic is more evident, which means that we are not able to work fully as planned. At the same time we continue to support public sector health care and we experience that this collaboration now works better than in the initial phase of the pandemic.
In our International segment we continued negotiations during the quarter on an extension of the agreement with our opposite party in the UAE. As negotiations in the region often are a lengthy process and the exact details of a potential extension have not yet been finalised, we have chosen to record revenues pursuant to the draft agreement that the parties seem to agree on. We hope that the negotiations will be completed during the first half of the second quarter. In Kuwait the expansion of the hospital is progressing and each month the number of employees and patients at the hospital increases. Kuwait Hospital is now well on the road to achieving a strong position in the country’s health care system.
In Vårdsamverkan we saw a return to a higher level of consumption of health care at the end of the quarter after several quarters where the costs for purchased care were lower due to the pandemic. The models for improving patient flows that we have developed help us not only to raise the quality of the care and control costs, but also give us the opportunity to develop new unique offerings. An example of this is the collaboration agreement that we entered into recently with Avonova, where together we will evaluate the opportunities for combining Avonova’s occupational health care services with GHP’s services so as to create an exciting total offering.
The good start to the year strengthens our conviction that GHP’s models for delivering high-quality health care work and give results. We have exciting opportunities to grow in all our markets and we have an organisation that has the will and the ability to take advantage of these opportunities. We therefore look forward to an eventful 2021.