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Romania's MedLife mulls expansion into Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia

Romania's MedLife mulls expansion into Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia MedLife

BUCHAREST (Romania), February 14 (SeeNews) - Romanian privately-owned medical services provider MedLife [BSE: M] is considering expansion into several neigbouring countries and new acquisitions at home in 2018, the company CEO, Mihai Marcu, has said.

"We have taken steps so as to see to what extent we can be present with our own units in neighbouring countries like Bulgaria, Hungary or Serbia. In a first stage, we want to test the market, so we will not have far-reaching projects and, depending on the evolution, we will later have a strategy dedicated to such projects. It is time MedLife went beyond the Romanian borders", Marcu said in a press release on Tuesday.

In addition to expansion, the company also aims to become a leader in the magnetic resonance area by procuring 6 new MRI scanners, thus reaching a total of 12 pieces of such equipment in the network.

MedLife will also keep an eye on potential greenfield and acquisition projects.

"We will continue to increase our sales significantly above our competition, both through organic growth and through acquisition," Marcu said, adding that the company expects to complete two or three smaller transactions in the first quarter.

MedLife aims to maintain its fast-paced development this year, with annual growth projected at over 20%.

In 2017, the company swung to a net profit of 8.84 million lei ($2.3 million/ 1.9 million euro), from a 1.24 million lei loss in 2016.

MedLife's operating profit leapt 79.6% on the year to 35 million lei in 2017. Turnover increased by 24% to 623 million lei. The clinics and the corporate subscription division had the largest share of the announced turnover, followed by hospitals and laboratories.

In December 2017, MedLife increased its share capital by 67.56 million lei.

MedLife made its first purchase in 2011 by buying a majority stake in the PDR Brasov group of companies. Seven years later, the company has successfully completed 17 acquisitions, the last one being local private healthcare operator Polisano. The transaction is now pending approval from Romania's anti-trust body.

In December 2016, MedLife raised 230 million lei through a fully subscribed initial public offering of a 44% stake.

Blue-chip MedLife shares traded 0.30% higher at 33.1 lei on the BVB as at 1435 CET on Wednesday.

(1 euro=4.6588 lei)

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