Bupa hails UK arm recovery

BUPA chief executive Stuart Fletcher declared yesterday that the firm’s UK health insurance business is recovering, having been “not economically sustainable” a year ago.

The news followed the private healthcare group’s first-half results, which showed that cost cutting in its British business had almost doubled underlying profit to £59.2m on flat revenues of £1.255bn and a three per cent decline in customer numbers.

Global customers rose by 30 per cent to 14.5m and underlying profits rose by one per cent to £258.9m. Capital investment rose to £110.6m.

Fletcher welcomed the figures as “broadly positive”, but conceded that the firm was concerned about a handful of issues.

He told City A.M. the firm’s US arm Health Dialog – a joint decision making service for patients – had “fallen away and continues to fall away”.

Fletcher hopes that, in the wake of the Obamacare reforms, the operation would find “long-term meaningful business” from the new needs of the US market.