TOP 200 : Deloitte/Management magazine Company of the Year – Abano Healthcare Group

Formerly successful aged-care manager and operator group, Abano Healthcare grew to become New Zealand’s largest private specialist medical and healthcare organisation. And this year, as it is acknowledged as the country’s most successful company, it has prepared for yet another iteration of itself.
It was highly successful year for Abano, growing its revenue 50.7 percent and its profitability 31.5 percent. Then at year’s end, and after having successfully deflected significant takeover offers from two different bidders, the company sold its Bay Audiology operations, (about one third of its income base). This left it cashed-up to the extent of $118 million – the sale price was $157.8 million – enabling Abano to continue its investment in its existing growth business. It also intends returning $53 million to shareholders and reducing debt.
Abano’s meticulously executed strategies and highly competent governance and management leadership means that this company not only deserves to be acknowledged as the Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Company of the Year, but that it is also home-grown enterprise worth emulating.
In the 2009 year Abano not only turned in outstanding returns for shareholders, it also grew the business by entering the Australian dental market and the Asian audiology market with investments in clinics in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Asia, according to the company’s chair Alison Paterson and managing director Alan Clarke, “offers significant potential with large populations, booming middle class and an exploding demand for high quality healthcare”.
As an indicator of future thinking, the company’s annual report points out: “While Abano continues to focus on the delivery of private health services, the Group has balanced mix of private and public revenue streams and regional geographic presence which provides spread of businesses in number of economies and the ability to grow profitably in the current economic climate. Abano is well positioned to maximise value from existing businesses and pursue value-adding opportunities, enhancing shareholder wealth.”
Abano may have sold significant portion of its existing New Zealand business with the sale of Bay Audiology, but it looks set to come again. It has already identified its audiology business in Australia and Asia, its dental business in Australasia, and radiology in New Zealand as growth opportunities.

JUDGES COMMENTS
WINNER : Abano Healthcare Group

Another outstanding performance by healthcare company that continues to surprise. Last year Abano won the Top 200 Best Growth Strategy Award. This year it is the Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Company of the Year because of its continued outstanding operational performance and financial results and returns to shareholders. Abano has successfully faced down two unwelcome takeover offers and continued to perform. This clever and exceptionally well-managed business has grown through greenfields development and its equally successful partnership model for acquisitions. The company’s healthy balance sheet is testimony to its refusal to sacrifice performance for growth, capitalising on the increasing demand for well-managed and professionally delivered health services. This is an outstandingly well run business that is gearing up to enter new phase of future development.

FINALIST : Delegat’s Group

Delegat’s was the toast of the town last year when it won this category. It is finalist again this year because the judges believe it has turned in another stunning performance. It continues to outperform the New Zealand wine industry’s export growth despite fluctuating currency and warnings of over-production. Wine marketing is tough local and global business but Delegat’s shows no signs of going off. Its sales are internationally strong and the world’s wine drinkers appear united in their appreciation of what the company delivers in its bottles. Another classic performance that’s delivered benefits to shareholders.

FINALIST : Ebos Group

There is nothing off colour about the results turned in again this year by healthcare products company Ebos Group. Last year’s winner of the Marsh Most Improved Performance Award, Ebos this year has delivered outstandingly healthy numbers. This company is well led by stable management team and the enterprise in total seems to be going from strength-to-strength. Ebos continues to make the most of its merger with pharmaceutical, distribution and logistics business PRNZ of two years ago. worthy contender for Top 200 Company of the Year.

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