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Spire Healthcare in rude health so far this year

There was no repeat of the profit warnings seen last year, with Spire confirming it has made a solid start to the year and remains on track to meet full-year expectations
spire healthcare hospital
Analysts are expecting EBITDA of £121mln for 2019 on revenue of £951mln this year

Shares in Spire Healthcare Group PLC (LON:SPI) jumped at the opening bell on Thursday after bosses confirmed the company was in rude health ahead of today’s annual general meeting.

Britain’s second-largest healthcare firm said it was “pleased” with its performance so far in 2019 and is on track to meet full-year expectations.

READ: Credit Suisse cuts Spire Healthcare to ‘underperform’

At the moment, City analysts are forecasting underlying earnings (EBITDA) of around £121mln for 2019, on revenue of £951mln.

Underlying earnings fell by more than a fifth last year, with the company blaming an “unprecedented decline” in NHS revenue which eroded margins.

Broker Peel Hunt said the update was “encouragingly short” and might see “the return of some momentum” in the share price.

“After an especially difficult FY18, including consistent consensus downgrades (at Jan 2017 consensus EBITDA of more than £150mln) Spire ultimately delivered £119mln EBITDA for FY18,” read a note to clients.

“It’s perhaps no surprise that there’s been a nervousness in the share price for the last few days on the run up to the trading update. We suggested at FY18 that SPI might now have a clean slate and this morning’s update looks like it.”

Spire shares rose 3.2% to 124.9p in early deals, although that’s still almost half what they were changing hands for this time last year following a string of profit warnings.

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