TMC Life Sciences eyes 40% bed capacity increase

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KUALA LUMPUR: TMC Life Sciences Bhd will see a 40% increase in its bed capacity over the next 12 months, following the conversion of the seventh floor of its flagship hospital, Tropicana Medical Centre, into a ward.

Speaking after the group’s annual general meeting today, group chief executive officer Dr Wong Chiang Yin said some RM7 to RM8 million had been set aside for setting up the new ward.

“Aside from that, the amount will also cover the renovation of our dialysis centre,” he said.

According to the group’s 2014 annual report, the new ward is expected to be complete in the financial year ending May 31, 2016 (FY16).

Wong added that the group is also looking at the possibility of increasing its capacity in the hospital’s accident and emergency department, while the extra clinics that the group had constructed within the grounds of the hospital will be open within the next two to three months.

“We want to maximise the space that we have on the grounds first before looking at expanding outside. Of course we won’t rule out a merger or acquisition exercise, and we are always looking out for opportunities. If there is something that is right, then we will do it,” he said.

Looking forward, Wong said the prospects of the group looked bright, however, the uncertainty over the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) still loomed.

“I think that whether the GST will have a positive or negative impact on our operations remains to be seen. That is something that can be said for the whole industry,” he said.

Last Friday, the group announced to the stock exchange that its public shareholding spread had fallen to 24.28% as at Oct 15.

As such, it is not in compliance with the public shareholding spread requirement pursuant to Paragraph 8.02(1) of the Main Market Listing Requirements, its filing read.

To recap, Singapore billionaire Peter Lim had acquired an additional 26.6% in TMC on Aug 7 from Tan Sri Vincent Tan for 48 sen per share, raising his stake in the company to 59.2%, thus triggering a mandatory general offer for the rest of the shares he does not already own in the company.

Prior to that, Lim, who first emerged in TMC with a 29.6% stake acquired from TMC founder Datuk Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo in 2010, owned 32.6% in TMC.

To date, Lim, once known as Singapore’s ‘Remisier King’ and was ranked by Forbes as the 10th richest man in Singapore last year with a fortune of US$2.05 billion, owns 76.57% of shares in TMC.

Though this does not comply with Bursa's listing requirement of having at least 25% public shareholding spread, Lim has expressed his intention to keep TMC listed and would rectify the public shareholding spread.

For the first quarter ended Aug 31, the group posted a net profit of RM728,000, a reversal from a net loss of RM368,000 at the same time last year.

Revenue increased 23% to RM23.2 million, from RM18.8 million previously, which it had attributed to higher patient load due to increased bed capacity and additional consultants recruited.

TMC ended 0.5 sen down today at 53 sen, with a market capitalisation of RM433.34 million. The stock was featured on theedgemarkets.com  as one of Insider Asia’s Stocks with Likelihood of Corporate Exercise on Oct 15.