AAP Finance

Sonic’s healthy profit means higher payout

By AAP Newswire

Sonic Healthcare's overseas expansion has helped lift half-year net profit by 14 per cent and shareholders will enjoy a higher dividend.

The profit of $254.4 million was helped by a 15 per cent rise in revenue to $3.3 billion for the six months to December 31.

A big contributor was the purchase of US anatomical pathology provider Aurora Diagnostics last year.

Sonic paid $750 million for Aurora, which has about 220 pathologists and 32 practices across the US.

Chief executive Dr Colin Goldschmidt said Sonic would continue to look for acquisitions, joint ventures and contract opportunities, particularly in European and US labs.

It provides many services including general practice, radiology and diagnostic imaging.

Europe is the biggest region for revenue and contributed 35 per cent ($1.1 billion) of the overall sum.

The US provides 27 per cent ($896 million) followed by Australia's 23 per cent ($771 million).

Revenue from Australian labs rose by seven per cent, helped by demand for genetic testing.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 34 cents per share, of which 10.20 cents is franked.

The dividend is one cent higher than a year ago.

Sonic shares were trading lower by 0.11 per cent, or three cents, at $31.41 at 1517 AEDT.

SONIC HALF-YEAR RESULTS

* Net profit up 14pct to $254.4m

* Revenue up 15pct to $3.3b

* Dividend of 34 cents per share (10.20 cents franked), up from 33 cents a year ago.