Deepen the integration between online and offline healthcare services to enhance service quality and reach
UMP Healthcare Holdings Limited (“UMP” or the “Group”; SEHK stock code: 722) announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 (the “period”).
Despite the macroeconomic uncertainty during the period, the Group has taken prompt measures to mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations,and the Group's financial position has remained relatively healthy. The Group’s revenue slightly decreased by 1.5% year-on-year to HK$302.1 million during the period, primarily due to a decrease in revenue from HK$27.7 million to HK$20.4 million from its PRC Healthcare Business, mainly caused by a decrease in the number of health check-ups for PRC residents traveling abroad for study or work and health check-ups for corporate employees and insurance scheme members, which was significantly impacted by COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
Revenue from Hong Kong & Macau Clinical Healthcare Services has increased approximately by 5.7% year-on-year to HK$213.1 million (before intersegment elimination), due to a general increase in the number of health check-ups and average spending per visit. The Group’s businesses in Hong Kong and Macau are mature and continue to generate profit and operating cash flows for investment in new growth areas.
Backed by the Group’s business and financial strength amid the challenging operating environment, the Boardhas declared an interim dividend of HK1.00 cent per ordinary share for the six months ended 31 December 2020 (FY2020 interim dividend: HK0.65 cent).
Dr. Sun Yiu Kwong, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of UMP, commented, “Healthcare is not only a cornerstone to the overall well-being of citizens but it is also the foundation of economic and social development. In the last six months, COVID-19 continued to pose unprecedented risks and opportunities for the Group. As the third and fourth waves of COVID-19 hit the shores of Hong Kong, widespread fear of the contagion as well as sustained economic volatility ensued. Against this backdrop, however, the Group continued to record steady revenue performance during the period, which testified to our reputation as one of the premier medical service providers in Hong Kong. Further, the perceptible shock of COVID-19 and the resulting social distancing protocols validated our continued investment in technology. We believe COVID-19 has expedited public reception toward medical technology and we are poised to use it as an enabler to enhance our service quality and reach.
Business Overview: Hong Kong Market
In Hong Kong, despite the impact of the contagion, the Group was able to capitalize on its extensive business network to provide uninterrupted offline clinical services to outpatients as well as policyholders of corporates and insurance companies at the primary care entry level. The Group’s commitment to communal healthcare extended to provide year-round, all-encompassing medical services in areas such as general and specialist services, regular health check-ups, medical imaging and laboratory services, dental services, physiotherapy clinics and cosmetic dermatology centre. The Group’s core strength in Hong Kong lies in its dynamic, full-service ecosystem that can fulfil its clients’ shifting demand.
The Group’s competitive differentiation shone through in the time of COVID-19. When social distancing in Hong Kong became commonplace, the Group’s clients and their employees relied more than ever on the Group’s continuous, innovative corporate healthcare solutions and tailor-made third-party administration services such as 24/7 customer care hotline to address their rising needs. The Group’s agile business models also gave it the flexibility to seize online business opportunities while contributing to the containment of the COVID-19 impact as a socially responsible healthcare group. As concerns over the rising COVID-19 rose to an alarming level, the Group expanded its online products offering to include same-day-delivery of COVID-19 screening test kits. The Group’s swift response and expansion in time of crisis are testament to its professionalism and belief in the growth prospects within the region.
In the last six months, while the Group’s offline clinics uncharacteristically dropped in patient volume during the COVID-19 outbreak, its online consultation services have garnered significant interest from its existing and new customers as Hong Kong citizens became wary of going to public places. The abrupt shift in market sentiment justifies the Group’s timely decision to augment its offline network with an expanding online presence. To further improve its digital footprint, the Group’s information technology teams in Hong Kong and Mainland China have been working around the clock to refine the Group’s web-and-app-based telemedicine platforms in both regions. As an indication to the Group’s adaptability to the evolving needs of its customers, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group leveraged on technology to overcome the barriers of social distancing and provide cutting-edge, web-based teleconsultation to multiple Hong Kong-based conglomerates, reputable insurance companies and private clients.
Business Overview: PRC Market
In recent years, consistent with the Chinese government’s emphasis on improving the quality of primary care, the Group has broadened the breadth and depth of its family doctor and nurse training through its revered GOLD™ training and GOLD™-EN training programmes, respectively. Despite the restrictions placed upon cross-border traveling during COVID-19, the Group continued to administer a combination of online and offline trainings to its students in the Mainland to optimum effect.
The Group undertook the mission of fostering efficient collaboration between well-trained doctors and patients in a bid to build a scalable but agile medical service platform. Its unique GOLD™ and GOLD™-EN programmes have delivered training to almost 1,000 doctors and nurses cumulatively in Mainland China, with a focus on the Greater Bay Area (“GBA”). The Group’s clinic network with various regional and local governments consists of 45 established public-private-partnership (“PPP”) clinics with over 40 others scheduled to be built. The Group’s expansion even in the time of global economic uncertainty made it one of the largest outpatient clinic networks in the GBA. The Group will deploy more GOLD™-trained doctors and GOLD™-EN-trained nurses to its existing and new PPP clinics or to its virtual care platform down the road to enhance the standard and reach of medical services in GBA.
Innovation is the key to sustained success especially in a vast and growing market such as Mainland China. The Group has made tremendous headway in being a market-leading trendsetter. In August 2020, the Group officially launched its Internet hospital business. As the only Hong Kong-based healthcare platform with an Internet hospital license, the Group will continue to provide patients and Mainland residents with licensed telemedicine services through its network of highly qualified doctors and the development of strategic partnerships with new and existing specialist groups.
The technique of making use of the right time to introduce the right business decision for the future is the essence of the art of management. This is what the Group meant by: “Devising strategies within a command post that will assure victory a thousand miles away”. Contrary to widespread pessimism in the economic outlook, the Group has confidence in the growth engine of Mainland China especially in the field of healthcare. The Group’s stable cash flow position enabled it to ramp up its expansion plan to open a new headquarters in the central business district of Shenzhen with a total floor space of approximately 11,000 square feet to facilitate the administration of GOLD™ and GOLD™-EN trainings as well as the capturing of potential GBA-based business opportunities.
The Group believes the future delivery of healthcare is hinged upon finding an optimal balance between online and offline service platforms. In the coming future, the Group will continue to invest in technology to connect patients to the most appropriate care medium to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to the general public. Capitalizing on its vast customer base, in-house medical teams, and proprietary technology, the Group will continue to deepen the integration between online and offline healthcare services.
The Group’s unwavering commitment in GBA will also bring synergy to the heart of its Hong Kong business. Spurred on by the Group’s service excellence and increasing brand presence in the GBA, once traveling resumes, Mainland travelers will be gravitated towards the Group’s existing primary care network, growing specialist services scope and differentiated healthcare solutions in Hong Kong. The Group is poised to strengthen its self-reinforcing business flywheel by capturing the flows of talent and business opportunities between the two regions.
Looking ahead,Dr. Sun Yiu Kwongcommented, “Our goal is to build on our existing business practice that exemplifies our corporate vision, which is “to give everyone access to trusted and affordable care, so that everyone can freely pursue their dreams without worrying about their health.” Such vision and our development trajectory are intertwined. We firmly believe that we can maximize our growth potential while continuing to be a pioneer of change in the healthcare space.