Dental firm Portman Healthcare has revealed how an ambitious takeover strategy throughout the last year saw its annual turnover grow by £3.9 million – despite being closed for much of it.
Anyone who has tried to book a dental appointment will realise the scale of the impact on the sector, but the Cheltenham group still saw managed an income of £116.9 million last year, up from £113.1m in 2019.
Other reasons to smile included gross profit for the year reaching £54.6 million (2019: £52.6m), although operating profit was £4.2 million, down from £8.1 million – due to the impact of the pandemic.
‘The loss before taxation moved from £2.2 million in 2019 to £15.5 million in 2020. This is due to the addition of revenue and overheads from practice acquisitions being offset with the reduction in revenues due to Covid-19,’ said Sam Waley-Cohen, chief executive officer of Portman Healthcare, which is headquartered in new Barn lane, Cheltenham.
The firm’s annual report, just filed, also shows it managed to give £2,000 to charitable causes during the year.
Not surprisingly the impact of the pandemic on its operations was described as ‘significant’.
‘The group subscribed to the UK Government’s furlough scheme while practices were closed and as a result was able to keep all of its staff in employment through to the practices reopening,’ said Mr Waley-Cohen in a statement in the firm’s annual report.
Difficult as the year has been, its ambitions remain unthwarted.
‘The pipeline for new acquisitions is now strong, partly due to the positive publicity generated by the company from its Covid-19 response.’
It is a strategy which sees directors ‘carefully selecting’ businesses based on their ‘potential for future growth’ and how well they fit into the Portman brand.
New practices acquired were in town’s and city’s including Glasgow and Edinburgh, Truro and Totnes, Stirling and Falkirk to Newcastle, Portsmouth, Bath and Ashburton.
By Andrew Merrell