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Medical imaging firms grow revenue by double-digits

Medical diagnostics firms trading on the stock exchange made higher revenue in the final quarter of 2022, but newly listed Apex Radiology inked a profit while Elite Diagnostics recorded losses.

The outlook, however, remains positive for both firms.

“Performance is anticipated to continue on this path and the directors remain optimistic about the performance outlook given the strategic plans that the team continues to execute,” said Dr Karlene McDonnough, chairman of Image Plus Consultants, which trades as Apex Radiology. The comments were appended to the company’s first earnings report since its market d?but in January.

The company started in 1996 and operates from four locations, three in Kingston and one in St Ann. It offers diagnostic X-rays, ultrasound, computerised tomography, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy and intervention services. The company recently relocated its Ocho Rios operations to a new larger space in White River North Commercial Complex in St Ann. The new location almost doubles the square footage of the Ocho Rios branch.

Apex recorded triple-digit profit growth earlier in the year, but it has waned to double-digit growth, its third quarter financials indicate. That equated to $27 million in the November quarter, up 17 per cent from $23 million a year earlier. But over nine months profit totalled $179.7 million, which was 164 per cent higher than the $68 million profit of a year earlier. The pace of revenue growth also decelerated in the latest quarter, but was still up by 27 per cent to $248 million, compared to the year-to-date growth of 44 per cent to $803 million.

Apex blamed its relocation, and the related temporary store shutdown for the sag in profit. Apex recently installed a new fluoroscopy unit at the location, with other scanners to follow.

“Management is confident that the move and resulting downtime is an investment that will redound significantly to the benefit of all stakeholders in the months ahead,” stated Apex.

On the other hand, Elite Diagnostics indicated in the preface to its second quarter financials, that “despite increased competition from other industry players”, the demand for its services remained high. The company stated that increased marketing has gradually improved its brand appeal which should augur well for its internal growth projections.

Elite made a $7.4 million net loss for the December quarter compared to a profit of $7.3 million a year earlier. Its revenue totalled $177.5 million, which was 20 per cent higher than the $147.5 million earned a year earlier. Over six months, losses totalled $1.5 million, compared to profit of $6.7 million a year earlier. Half-year revenue rose to $363.5 million from $288.4 million a year earlier.

“We continue to be negatively affected by the extended downtime of major revenue-earning machines during the quarter under review,” said Elite’s management.

This translated to a loss of revenue in excess of $40 million during the quarter. Additionally, a significant increase in the depreciation expense was booked for the new MRI purchased last year, contributing to the quarter’s loss.

“With the recent overhaul of two of our more problematic machines which are no longer under warranty, and additional planned preventative maintenance exercises, we do not expect extraordinary downtime going forward,” Elite stated, adding that a new CT machine will enter service in March at its Liguanea location. This will provide redundancy for future downtime of the other unit located at its New Kingston location.

Elite started operations in 2012 and now operates from three locations with a fourth set for Montego Bay. It listed on the stock exchange five years ago in February 2018.

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