Ramsay flags higher earnings in 2012/13

Private hospitals group Ramsay Health Care's full year profit has soared 23 per cent, with the group confident of lifting earnings again as it continues expanding.

Ramsay, which has hospitals in Australia, Indonesia, Britain and France, on Thursday said net profit rose to $244.1 million in the year to June 30 from $198.4 million a year earlier.

The company's preferred measure of core net profit, which excludes non-core items and amortisation of intangibles, rose 14.5 per cent to $252.6 million.

Revenue rose 6.3 per cent to $3.96 billion from $3.7 billion.

Managing director Christopher Rex said ageing populations were continuing to drive increased demand for healthcare and Ramsay was positive about opportunities to expand further overseas.

He said that, given the strong industry fundamentals and barring unforeseen circumstances, Ramsay expected to lift its core net profit and earnings per share by 10-12 per cent in 2012/13.

"There is also significant growth in healthcare spending expected in emerging markets and we continue to monitor and investigate opportunities in these markets and other regions where there is a strategic fit and which meet our investment hurdles," Mr Rex said in a statement.

Mr Rex said he anticipated ongoing investment of at least $100 million for new hospital brownfield developments annually.

Ramsay declared fully-franked final dividend of 34.5 cents a share, up from 29.5 cents.

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