BMI Healthcare warns on Competition Commission impact

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BMI Healthcare has warned over the potential impact of the Competition Commission's investigation into the UK Private Medical Insurance (PMI) market and said the group will defend its position against any ‘unnecessary or disproportionate remedies.'

The comments came as part of the group's financial results for the year ending 30 September 2013. The figures revealed its EBITDAa from continuing operations was up 14.5% to £56.9 million (FY12: £49.7 million).

Meanwhile, the company saw an overall decline of 1.9% in its caseload compared to the prior year, driven by a fall in PMI volumes, although there had been a slowing rate of decline in the second half of the year. 

The results also anticpated what impact the forthcoming findings and remedies of the Competition Commission, due to be published in 2014, would have on the group.

Stephen Collier, managing director of BMI Healthcare warned: "We continue to assess the potential impact of the proposed remedies which are still in a state of flux and we are very concerned about the significant detrimental impact they could have on patients and healthcare delivery in the UK.

"Accordingly, we continue to engage proactively and openly with the Competition Commission, and where appropriate, have successfully used our rights of appeal to a higher authority."

He again rejected any assertion that BMI Healthcare and its hospitals exercised market power or made excess profits at the expense of patients, as well as describing the Commission's cost analysis as 'flawed.' 

Collier added: "There is significant uncertainty about the eventual findings and any associated remedies and the directors acknowledge that in certain scenarios the potential remedies could have a material impact on the Group.

"Should the final findings fail to appropriately address those flaws then the directors will defend the Group's position against any unnecessary or disproportionate remedies, considering all options available to them."

The firm's statement added that coupled with economic "budgetary constraints", structural uncertainties and continued constraints in the PMI market, the next 12 months are anticipated to "remain challenging for BMI Healthcare."

 

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