Introduction and review
AfroCentric is a Level 1 majority black-owned JSE listed investment holding company, which owns and operates a diverse range of healthcare-related enterprises that provide specialised medical scheme administration and deliver a range of healthcare products and services to the public and private healthcare sectors. The principal objective of the Group, is to ensure the delivery of efficient health management services and the distribution of quality products – all at a manageable and affordable cost for the benefit of our stakeholders. AfroCentric has successfully broadened its interests in the industry by continuing to pursue new opportunities to expand and rationalise its presence across the healthcare sector.
The Board takes pleasure in presenting commentary on AfroCentric's (“ACT”) operating performance for the six months ended 31 December 2021. These results are a demonstration of the Group's resolve to continue to achieve operational excellence through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the current circumstances, the Group has continued to make progress towards its strategic plans for growth and expansion.
In line with the Group's driving ambition, AfroCentric worked closely with the government, and utilised its infrastructure to distribute the procured vaccines – 210 503 vaccines were administered in some of the major cities in South Africa. The overall performance of the Group was impacted by the vaccination distribution programme it undertook, as approximately R25 million was invested in this project.
The Services Cluster, substantially comprising of the medical scheme administration business has remained focused on cost reduction through increased efficiency and an enhanced operating model. Despite the reduction in the medical scheme membership base and/or members downgrading their medical aid options due to significant economic pressure in the current environment, the cluster increased its operating profit by 3.9%. This performance can largely be attributed to our stable and consistent fee structures, as well as new measures to enhance operational excellence and more effective cost controls.
We continued to harness our Group-wide strengths through our integrated architecture, resulting in creative solutions that satisfy vital demands while enhancing healthcare savings. SmartCare is one such new solution, aiming to deliver a full managed care concept to lower members' health risks, detect risk timeously, and cover the cost of care in an efficient way. In addition, the programme's goal is to establish a supporting structure to deliver a comprehensive care plan and improve members' quality of life.
The acquisition of Dental Information Systems (“DENIS”) in the prior year, has enabled us to focus specifically on cost-effective treatment and innovation in the dental treatment offerings to medical scheme members. In DENIS, we have gained a partner to fast-track our strategic business objectives and expand our expertise.
We are leveraging on the lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic to create more efficient and affordable digital modes of care. From an administration perspective, our focus is on customer service models that are excellent and equally leverage the accelerated digital transformation. To reduce the cost of care, we will maintain our focus on supporting members' health, with a greater emphasis on lifestyle risk management and mental wellbeing.
Participation in National COVID Vaccination Project
As part of our continued focus to improve South African’s access to quality healthcare, the Group made a conscious effort to invest in the Covid vaccination program.
This project had a big societal impact as many AfroCentric member schemes and non medical aid members received a safe and caring service during challenging times
Pharmaceutical Cluster (Healthcare Retail)
The Retail Cluster has had a challenging six months. The level of uncertainty that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant impact on the economy required the Pharma Cluster to remain agile and adaptable to constant changes in the market and consumer spending patterns. We did this by growing the customer base, adjusting to changes to market demand and implementing efficiencies to drive down the cost of doing business.
The Cluster has started to see a decline in member adherence to chronic medication compliance, and a desire for preventative products (like vitamins) has started to revert back to pre-covid levels. In addition to this decline, specific product categories have suffered due to COVID-19, for example, the demand for medicine related to elective surgeries also declined.
Despite the challenges experienced in the six months, the pharma cluster has increased its operating profit by 9.7%. This performance can largely be attributed through the investment in efficiencies through partial automation within our Pharmacy Direct facility, and the launch of an online shop, easily accessible by all patients and the public.
Effective 1 August 2021, Activo Health concluded its acquisition of Forrester Pharma. Through this acquisition, Activo will expand its product offering to the pharmaceutical market, and enter the Oncology market.
The Pharma Cluster remains focused on continuing to drive value realisation from various digital projects to position the cluster strategically and enable greater efficiencies within a highly competitive environment.
Corporate Solutions Cluster
The Corporate Solutions Cluster comprises of various entities that support the overall, uniquely integrated, employee-focused health and wellness solutions offered to corporate and institutional clients. The cluster's interactions and activities contribute to a reduction in primary healthcare costs, while increasing productivity and delivering tangible savings to employer groups.
The cluster continues to enjoy significant growth and producing improved results with the desired integration and operational efforts being realised. The key highlight within the cluster was the conclusion of negotiations with Sanlam Health Solutions Proprietary Limited for the acquisition of a Gap cover business that is supplementary to its current medical scheme offerings.
- Awarded the full managed healthcare tender for Samwumed, effective 01 January 2022.
- AfroCentric Health (RF) (Proprietary) Limited, the Group's main operating subsidiary retained its Level 1 B-BBEE rating.
The Services Cluster, substantially comprising of medical scheme administration business, has provided a satisfactory result during the period under review. The cluster achieved a 16.6% increase in revenue, despite the constraint in membership growth over the period. The contracts secured in the prior year, with the Group's prior and continuing investment in IT capacity, systems development and more efficient operating cost control routines, continues to yield cost containment, and in turn prompted processes in robotics, call centre management and customer/member contact via digital platforms.
The Group will continue with system renewals and upgrades to explore better and more efficient ways in servicing and engaging our customers/members. The investment (R25 million) and participation in the nationwide vaccination programme affected the profitability of the segment, which still managed to increase its operating profit year on year by 3.9%.
The Pharma Cluster's performance during the financial period was supported by a diverse mix of entities, despite the headwinds affecting Pharmacy Direct and Activo Health as a result of the decline in member adherence to chronic medication (R22 million). The cluster achieved a 4.2% increase in revenue and 9.7% growth in operating profit. This has been driven largely by the efficiencies, cost controls and well-coordinated and managed pharmacy network in Scriptpharm.
Group profits before tax, decreased by 0.2% amounting to R323.8 million (2020: R324.4 million). Group profits after tax (PAT) increased by 1.3% amounting to R233.6 million (2020: R230.7 million).
AfroCentric has for some time focused on growth initiatives designed to create a value chain of healthcare enterprises to maximise the purchasing power of citizen's healthcare spend. Through models of co-operative partnerships and collaboration, the objectives are to improve the affordability of patient care, with viable patient outcomes for easier accessibility to a broader community.
In keeping with that principal philosophy, during the period under review and prior to publishing these results:
- Activo Health concluded its acquisition of Forrester Pharma, effective 1 August 2021, to expand its product offering to the pharmaceutical market. The acquisition is consistent with AfroCentric's growth objectives in the healthcare sector and will strengthen Activo's product offering to the pharmaceutical market.
- AfroCentric Health (RF) Proprietary Limited's acquisition of the Sanlam Gap cover business effective 1 September 2021, is expected to provide supplementary services to the Group's medical scheme offerings.
AfroCentric has once again delivered satisfactory operating results for the period ending 31 December 2021, particularly given national economic challenges that are still posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic uncertainty. While medical scheme memberships were expected to fall dramatically, we are seeing members doing everything in their power to retain their existing health cover. However, from a chronic medicine adherence, we have seen a decline in compliance, as the demand for the preventative medicines has reverted to pre-covid levels.
The financial position of the Group remains sound, the Group is sufficiently capitalised for its immediate needs and management will continue in the normal course, to promote organic growth and consider compatible bolt-on opportunities for acquisition.
The following changes were made to the Board during the period under review:
- Dr SA Zinn resigned as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 18 November 2021.
- Mr SE Mmakau resigned as an Executive Director effective 31 January 2022.
Change in the role of a Director
In compliance with paragraph 3.59(c) of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements, the AfroCentric Board of Directors (“the Board”) hereby notifies Shareholders that Mr Willem Britz has stepped down as an Executive Director with effect from 10 March 2022. He will however remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director going forward.
The Board has pleasure in announcing that an interim gross dividend of 17 cents per ordinary share, has been declared for the period ended 31 December 2021. Dividends are subject to Dividends Withholding Tax. The payment date for the dividend is Monday, 16 May 2022.
- Dividends have been declared out of profits available for distribution.
- South African Dividends Withholding Tax rate is 20%.
- The gross dividend amount is 17.00000 cents per ordinary share.
- Net cash dividend amount is therefore 13.60000 cents per ordinary share.
- The Company has 576 007 920 ordinary shares in issue as at the declaration date.
- The Company's income tax reference number is 9600/148/71/3.
The salient dates relating to the dividend are as follows:
|Last day to trade cum dividend
|Tuesday, 10 May 2022
|Shares commence trading ex-dividend
|Wednesday, 11 May 2022
|Dividend record date
|Friday, 13 May 2022
|Dividend payment date
|Monday, 16 May 2022
Share certificates for ordinary shares may not be dematerialised or rematerialised between Wednesday, 11 May 2022 and Friday, 13 May 2022, both days inclusive.
With the changing composition of the Group's earnings between the Services and Retail Cluster, the current dividend policy is being reconsidered for the future.
Accounting policies and basis of preparation
The summary consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with the requirements of the JSE Limited (“Listings Requirements”) for summary financial statements, and the requirements of the Companies Act applicable to summary financial statements.
The JSE's Listings Requirements require summary financial statements to be prepared in accordance with the framework concepts and the measurement and recognition requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the SAICA Financial Reporting Guides as issued by the Accounting Practices Committee and Financial Pronouncements as issued by the Financial Reporting Standards Council and to also, as a minimum, contain the information required by IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting. The accounting policies applied in the preparation of these summarised interim financial statements are in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards and are consistent with those accounting policies applied in the preparation of the previous consolidated annual financial statements.
Basis of preparation
The unaudited and unreviewed interim results have been prepared under the supervision of Mr JW Boonzaaier CA (SA), in his capacity as the Group Chief Financial Officer. This announcement does not include the information required pursuant to paragraph 16A (j) of IAS 34, and this is available on our website (http://www.afrocentric.za.com/inv-reporting.php) or at our offices upon request.
On behalf of the Board
|Dr ATM Mokgokong
|Mr A Banderker
|Group Chief Executive Officer
15 March 2022