By David Winning
SYDNEY--Sonic Healthcare Ltd. said its annual profit more than doubled, as revenue from conducting coronavirus tests more than offset pandemic-related disruptions to some other services that it provides across its global network.
Sonic said its net profit totaled 1.32 billion Australian dollars (US$942 million) in the 12 months through June, up from A$527.7 million a year earlier. Directors of the company declared a final dividend of 55 Australian cents a share, up 7.8% on a payout of 51 cents a year earlier.
The global spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus is reinvigorating demand for tests to detect new inflections just as investors had begun to worry that an acceleration in vaccination rates would make them less vital. Countries such as Australia and New Zealand, which had previously had low or zero Covid-19 cases, are now battling to contain outbreaks.
On Monday, Sonic said Covid-19 testing had provided a significant boost to revenue and earnings during fiscal 2021, with around 30 million tests performed in its global network of laboratories. It said revenue rose by 28% to A$8.8 billion. Stripping out the revenue windfall from the tests, Sonic said revenue from its base business rose by 6%.
Sonic said its balance sheet was "set for growth by acquisition," with gearing at a record low and A$1.5 billion of liquidity available.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires