Primary Health Care

Providing health services to an ageing population seems like the ideal business – and it should be. But the red flags at medical centre, pathology and diagnostic imaging group Primary Health Care preclude a positive view. While interest cover has recovered to almost four times, the company’s $1.1bn of debt remains a burden. The asset side of the balance sheet is hardly bullet-proof either. Weighing it down is goodwill of $3.2bn, a legacy of the 2008 Symbion takeover and ongoing acquisitions of doctors’ practices. What should happen to the goodwill when the company’s doctors leave or retire is debatable...

Providing health services to an ageing population seems like the ideal business – and it should be. But the red flags at medical centre, pathology and diagnostic imaging group Primary Health Care preclude a positive view. While interest cover has recovered to almost four times, the company’s $1.1bn of debt remains a burden.

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