Medica PLC (LON:MGP) said it is “very encouraged” by the current trajectory of the recovery and expect to see continued improvement in performance as the year progresses.

The firm is already starting to see an improvement in elective procedures as the government’s accelerated immunisation programme reduces pressure on healthcare systems and allows a resumption of elective backlog procedures.

READ: Medica undergoing transformation with current management, says Liberum

The teleradiology services provider said that its focus will be on ensuring that the UK business is well prepared to support recovery, accelerating growth in NightHawk and internationalising the new areas of its business.

As the NHS in the UK and HSE in Ireland will remain capacity-constrained for some time, Medica does not expect a short-term spike of reporting, but rather expects a sustained period of increased reporting until such time as the backlog of elective cases is processed.

The focus for NightHawk activity will be to continue to grow the service based on 2020 outturn and capture market share, as well as managing the impact of pricing pressure on gross margin.

Medica added it continues to focus on delivering robust growth with the aim to double its revenue within five years once the impact of the pandemic subsides.

The plan remains to deliver strong organic revenue growth in the core business with increased scalability and operating leverage, with upside potential from new business lines and selective M&A.

In the year to 31 December, revenue shed 21% to £36mln, with underlying operating profit down 56% to £5mln.

The board declared an interim dividend of 0.85p per share and is now proposing a final one of 1.7p per share which will, if approved, result in total dividends for 2020 of 2.55p, up 13% on 2018, the last year when a final dividend was declared.

In a separate announcement, the group announced that Steve Whittern will step down as senior independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee ahead of June’s annual general meeting.

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