BAD HOMBURG (dpa-AFX) - The dialysis provider Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) is even more optimistic about the current financial year just a few weeks after its recent forecast increase. A settlement with the US government is expected to have a positive effect on the operating result of around 175 million euros. As a result, operating profit adjusted for special effects should increase by 12 to 14 percent at constant exchange rates compared to the previous year, the company surprisingly announced the previous evening. The other parts of the forecast remain unchanged. The MDax-listed share rose by around 1.6 percent to 36.46 euros on Wednesday morning.
According to the company, the legal dispute with the US government had revolved around a dialysis program for members and retirees of the US armed forces and their dependents. FMC's services had been reimbursed at reduced rates during the course of the program. This practice was unofficial and the authorities responsible for the program refused to change anything. Fresenius Medical Care subsequently filed a lawsuit against the United States in 2019. The settlement that has now been reached puts an end to the legal dispute.
FMC had only revised its targets at the beginning of the month and forecast an increase in the low single-digit percentage range excluding special and exchange rate effects - previously, management had at best assumed an operating result at the previous year's level. In 2022, the operating result had amounted to 1.54 billion euros.
So far this year, FMC is doing better than initially expected. The company is in the midst of a transformation. The blood purification specialist is groaning under high costs and declining sales, and many dialysis patients died of coronavirus during the pandemic. The management led by Group CEO Helen Giza is therefore taking countermeasures with a far-reaching cost-cutting program, including several thousand job cuts and the sale of parts of the company. Many hospitals have already been closed.
FMC slipped into crisis during the pandemic and triggered several profit warnings at parent company Fresenius. Fresenius drew the consequences and no longer wants to fully include the blood purification specialist in its balance sheet. Instead, the DAX-listed group will now only report FMC as a financial investment in line with its stake of just over one third. The necessary change of legal form from FMC to a stock corporation is to be completed by the beginning of December./tav/mne/men