Turnaround for Laya Healthcare as it posts profits of nearly €5m
THE country's second largest health insurer returned to profit last year with pre-tax profits of €4.99m.
Laya Healthcare, formerly Quinn Healthcare, swung to €4.99m from a €2m loss in 2011.
The turnaround in the Cork-based firm's fortunes was on the back of a 44pc jump in revenues to €33.75m, as subscribers jumped 5.5pc to 475,000 since launch.
The firm was the subject of a management buy-out in December 2011 with the support of an underwriter owned by giant Swiss Re. The business re-branded in May of last year to become Laya Healthcare.
"As a business, there is a lot to be positive about," said Laya Healthcare boss Donal Clancy. "That we have significantly grown our members to over 475,000 to date, in a market that is haemorrhaging approximately 5,500 a month, is testament to the hard work of our team, and moreover our obsession with maintaining affordable quality healthcare for our members. We are growing in a declining market."
Mr Clancy said the return to profit last year was driven by increased turnover, increase in market share and management initiatives during the year.
"We are operating in what is widely regarded as the toughest market for health insurance in decades. However, we are very well positioned for continued growth," he said.
"As a business, however, we have come under unprecedented pressure by Government to absorb a series of major price increases including the increase to the health levy, cuts to tax relief and the planned public beds re-designation charge. These changes have the potential to seriously destabilise the Private Medical Insurance (PMI) market, and create a cost spiral that simply must be addressed."
Despite the rise in pre-tax profit, the firm recorded an actuarial loss of €8.5m resulting in a shareholders' deficit of €2.56m.
A note attached to the accounts states that the deficit on the pension scheme "reflects primarily higher estimated liabilities as a result of lower bond yields partly offset by an increase in the value of scheme assets".
The numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 326 to 348 with staff costs increasing from €14.3m to €15.1m. Payments to directors, including pension contributions, increased sharply from €433,818 to €786,042.