On March 31, Ascendis Health reported a massive R673.80-m loss from a R204.96-m profitlast year. The loss during the six months to end December was caused by rising debt, higher finance costs, increased tax expenses and impairments, reported Business Report (1 April 2021).

Ascendis incurred a R246-m impairment during the period with a tax expense increasing to R139-m and net debt rising to R6.6-bn. This pushed normalised headline earnings down 131% to a loss of R43-m, with normalised headline loss per share from continuing operations of 9c a share.

Chief executive Mark Sardi said the benefit of C-19 related sales were partly offset by restrictions on elective surgeries in hospitals and fewer trauma cases during the lockdown period. Ascendis plans to recapitalise its balance sheet, with UK-based Blantyre Capital and L1 Health, two members of the lender consortium holding the company’s debt, advising they had collectively increased their exposure to more than 75% of the debt.

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