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American firm UPMC lost €72m on Beacon Hospital exit


The Beacon Hospital in Dublin

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin

The main Irish arm of US medical firm the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) recorded a loss of €71.9m on its disposal of the Beacon Hospital last year, new accounts show.

UPMC Ireland sold the clinic and relinquished all management responsibilities at the private hospital in south Dublin early last year.

Ulster Bank sold loans linked to the Beacon to businessman Denis O'Brien allowing him to take control of the hospital.

New accounts filed by UPMC Ireland show that the firm recorded a €33m loss on the disposal of the Beacon Hospital and wrote off loans to UPMC Beacon Hospital Sandyford Ltd totalling €38.9m.

A note attached to the accounts states that as part of the disposal of the company's investment in UPMC Beacon Hospital Sandyford Ltd, a loan was settled for €1.9m resulted in a write off of €38.9m. The loss on disposal and loan write-off resulted in the firm recording a pre-tax loss of €71.1m for the 12 months to the end of December last. UPMC continues to operate UPMC Cancer Care Centre Ltd here.

Losses at UPMC Beacon Hospital Sandyford Ltd were €9.8m in 2012 and €9.7m in 2011.

Beacon opened as a private 183 acute bed hospital in 2006 and the jobs were made secure there last year after the intervention of Denis O'Brien. A spokeswoman for the Beacon Hospital said yesterday that "the hospital is performing very well".

She added: "It is an incredibly positive story. We have an extremely supportive shareholder.

"The hospital is no longer laden down with debt and we are in expansion mode at the moment."

The spokeswoman said around 100,000 patients were treated last year - and this will rise this year.

She said the hospital has 630 employees and is on a recruitment drive for 30 additional nurses.

"It is all systems go here. We have 210 consultants and over the last year, we have enjoyed dramatic expansion in our insurance cover from the health insurance firms," she said.

The spokeswoman said the hospital wouldn't be revealing its financial figures until its annual accounts are published shortly.

Irish Independent