SUNWAY TYCOON JEFFREY CHEAH SETS ASIDE RM1BIL FOR FIVE NEW HOSPITALS

KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Bhd is focusing on the growth of its healthcare arm by allotting RM1 billion to construct five new hospitals in the next five years, said its founder and chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah.

This is in addition to the expansion of Sunway Medical Centre, which is currently undergoing construction as part of its plan to accommodate more beds.

It will cost another RM300 million to RM400 million and is slated for completion within the next 2½ years. The number of beds will increase from the current 630 to 1,000.

Speaking at a press conference after the group’s AGM here yesterday, Cheah said one of the five future hospitals, located at Sunway Velocity, is already under construction and is expected to be completed by December 2018.

Subject to the approval of the Health Ministry, the group is looking to construct two hospitals in Penang as well as one each in Damansara and Ipoh.

Sharing the projections for the financial year 2017, Cheah said he is anticipating a net profit contribution of RM50 million from Sunway Medical Centre. Last year, the hospital contributed RM37.65 million in pre-tax profit.

With the rapid expansion in its healthcare business, Cheah said, Sunway Group might list the healthcare arm a few years down the road, citing “when the time is right”.

“Even we can list now (as) we have the track record, but it wouldn’t give us the value. We would rather wait for a few more years and develop it better,” he said, noting that listing could be a way to generate funds for overseas expansion.

As for its property development arm, Sunway Group is confident of securing more than RM2 billion worth of jobs by December, particularly in the infrastructure segment. Its tender book stands at more than RM10 billion, with an order book of RM4.8 billion.
The property segment will see 10 or 11 launches this year with a gross development value of RM2 billion.

THE SUN DAILY

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