With strong demand for its imaging and diagnostic services booking out its Kingston locations, Elite Diagnostic Limited is looking to add new machinery at its Liguanea, St Andrew, location and add new branches across Jamaica to meet the growing need for imaging services.
The company currently offers a range of imaging services including X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans at its Holborn and Liguanea locations in St Andrew and Drax Hall location in St Ann. This has led Elite to begin the search for another branch along with the addition of another MRI at its Liguanea branch.
“We have commissioned a market survey to look into areas such as Mandeville, Montego Bay and St Catherine where we plan to open another branch. We have already retrofitted the ground floor by moving out some of the offices to accommodate the MRI. We're looking at the possibility of a CT machine. The space is there and we have the grounds to expand our waiting area,” stated Acting Chief Executive Officer Marjorie Miller at the company's annual general meeting last Tuesday. Co-founder Warren Chung stepped down from the role at the end of the first quarter but remains a director.
With its energy costs increasing, Elite is looking to use renewable energy resources to cut down on this expense. Elite's utility costs grew by 23 per cent to $46.14 million for the 2021 financial year (FY). This will matter more as the company's additional equipment will use more power.
“We have received quotations for two solar systems and it is our plan to have those installed in mid-2022 which will see a reduction in the JPS (Jamaica Public Service) charges to us. Right now, we have bookings running two to three weeks and the market survey conducted basically stated that the new MRI coming in would be able to do more scans and recoup to cover expenses,” noted Miller.
Apart from expanding the physical space, Elite will be looking to make itself an attractive destination for imaging to international clientele. Miller said, “We're discussing with some international insurance providers and those talks are well underway to be able to service the customer. It should be a seamless effort so that the insurance can be done here and settled when they get back with Elite earning a percentage of that here.”
Chairman Steven Gooden explained to a shareholder that the company's robust cash flows would fund the projects outlined for the 2022 FY. Operating cash flow was up 87 per cent to $125.04 million for the 2021 FY when revenue marginally increased by 15 per cent to $506.91 million.
Though the company's net profit for its 2021 FY was down 77 per cent to $1.93 million, Miller pointed out that the company's depreciation charges were higher along with the fact that the company's St Ann location encountered issues during the year which would have added additional expenses. The company has had fewer mechanical issues and has found two local suppliers who work on General Electric machines to service the machines in the event travel is restricted. Elite had a reduced loss of $514,678 in the first quarter compared to the $10.34 million loss in the prior period.
Miller made mention that the company has been less impacted by curfew and lockdown measures due to the nature of their industry and patients getting letters from doctors to do their scans. Elite's entire staff roster is fully vaccinated and will be getting their booster shots in short order.
In an effort to cut down on expenses, Elite will be forming a joint venture with an international supplier to bring in medical supplies. When asked about Elite distributing the supplies to the market, Miller countered that idea and explained that Elite would be sharing container space with the supplier who intends to distribute goods in Jamaica.
— David Rose