Revenues up as Emis extends reach

MEDICAL software firm Emis, one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing listed companies, saw half-year revenues rise by 11 per cent during “one of the busiest periods ever” for the group.

Former EMIS chief executive Sean Riddell, who remains on the group board as a non-executive director.

The Leeds-based firm said revenue from continuing operations increased to £47.1m in the six months ending June 30, compared to £42.3m in the same period the year before. Pre-tax profit remained stable at around £12m.

Chief executive Chris Spencer said that Emis had experienced “an exceptionally busy half” with “strong revenue growth and a high level of profitability maintained”.

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The group said that it now has an overall UK GP market share of 52.4 per cent – or 5,170 GP practices – up from 51.2 per cent at the end of December.

The half year saw the group continue to roll out its Emis Web software, which links healthcare professionals, from GPs to neurosurgeons, by allowing them to share patients’ cradle-to-grave medical records. There were 2,580 GP practices using Emis Web by the end of June, up from 1,635 at the end of December, with a further 291 added between the period end and September 5.

Peter Southby, chief financial officer, said revenue growth has largely been driven by the continued roll-out of Emis Web to GPs.

“This has been driving revenue across a number of areas, principally around the fact that this is a hosted product so we hold those records centrally rather than the older products where records would have been held at a local level and that generates additional revenues for us as we manage those records within our own data centres in Leeds.”

Mr Spencer said: “So far 2013 has been one of the busiest periods ever for Emis Group. We expect this to continue as the accelerated roll-out to GPs of Emis Web, our transformational healthcare system, is maintained.

“We will also be redoubling our efforts to join up GPs, other clinicians and pharmacists engaged in healthcare in the community and extending our reach into ophthalmology-related solutions and beyond that into specialist and acute care.”

RX Systems, the group’s pharmacy system provider, has continued to grow its estate, said Emis, with a market share of 34.9 per cent – or 4,727 pharmacies – up from 34.8 per cent at the end of December. Mr Southby said: “Our pharmacy systems business has also performed well in the first half, adding further practices to its estate.”

Emis said the group’s overall operating profit for the six months was maintained at £12.1m, while adjusted operating profit was £11.6m, up from £11.5m a year previously.

Group revenue from continuing operations of £47.1m for the six months included recurring revenue of £36m, representing 76 per cent of all revenues.

Last month, Emis bought eyesight screening company Digital Healthcare for £3.1m as part of its plan to branch out into new areas of healthcare.

Cambridge-based Digital Healthcare screens people for diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina caused by diabetes, which can lead to blindness if left unchecked.

Digital Healthcare has a 75 per cent share of the market in retinal screening programmes in England and Wales, more than 60 screening programmes and over two million registered patients.

Looking ahead, Mr Spencer said: “In the second half of the year we are expecting that we will have improved profitability compared with the first half of the year and that’s largely as a result of the fact that this Emis Web work that we’ve been doing, and rolling through, has a cumulative effect as the year wears on so we expect that to be beneficial during the period.

“That will also be beneficial in subsequent periods because the Emis Web product delivers more value to us particularly around hosting than the previous product.”

Mr Spencer was appointed chief executive in July, having been interim CEO since March. He replaced Sean Riddell, who remains on the group board as a non-executive director. The group said its interim dividend was 8p, up from 7.1p a year previously.