Hills in fine form with push into healthcare

Diversified industrial company Hills said the extension of its technology and communications business into the healthcare sector had been received well.

Diversified industrial company Hills said the extension of its technology and communications business into the healthcare sector had been received well.

Chief executive Ted Pretty, pictured, said Hills was a trusted brand and that trust could help it gain traction in new markets.

"Our entry into healthcare has been very well received and reflects the trust and faith placed in us," Mr Pretty told the company's annual meeting in Adelaide.

"During FY14 [financial year 2013-14] it is our intention to continue to build on this trust."

Hills is in the midst of transforming from a diversified group heavily exposed to the manufacturing and steel sectors to a smaller firm focused on the technology and communications sector, where higher returns are available.

The company is also well known for making the Hills Hoist.

Hills established the Hills Health Solutions business and purchased Merton Health Communications and Hospital Television Rentals in September.

These businesses provide communications, nurse call, monitoring and entertainment systems for hospitals and aged-care centres.

Mr Pretty said Hills had a presence in more than 300 hospitals and aged care centres, servicing about 40,000 beds. "We will continue to look for additional opportunities in the healthcare sector," he said.

Hills hopes to generate 75 per cent of its revenues from technologies and communications by the 2015-16 financial year.

Mr Pretty said Hills was seeking to be a provider of products and services to "trusted environments" such as hospitals, homes, schools, universities and public safety institutions.

In the first quarter of the current financial year, Hills' trading results had been pleasing, Mr Pretty said, and the company was comfortable with market expectations of a net profit for the year of between $24.1 million and $27.6 million.

Hills shares fell 3.5ยข to $1.81.

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