IVF market leader Sims doubles dividends to €4m

The Australian-listed group also owns the Rotunda IVF clinic

According to a schedule of fees on the Sims website, each cycle of IVF starts at €4,600, with egg donor services starting at €7,700. Photograph: iStock

According to a schedule of fees on the Sims website, each cycle of IVF starts at €4,600, with egg donor services starting at €7,700. Photograph: iStock

 

Sims IVF group, the largest Irish provider of fertility services, doubled the dividends it paid to its listed Australian owner last year.

The Sims Clinic, one of the main companies in the group, paid more than €4 million in dividends to its shareholders in 2018, according to its accounts just filed. This compared with €2 million paid the previous year.

Sims is majority controlled by listed Australian fertility treatment group, Virtus Health, which bought a 70 per cent stake in the business in 2014 for €15.5 million. The group was originally founded in 1997 by Irish doctors Anthony and David Walsh, who retain a minority stake.

The group includes Sims clinics in Dublin and Cork, while it also purchased the Rotunda IVF clinic in 2014.

Stock market filings by Virtus Health in Australia show it has increased its stake in the Irish business to 85 per cent, purchasing its second tranche of 15 per cent for €4.8 million, implying a value of €32 million for the whole group.

Three entities

The business is spread across three entities, including the Sims Clinic, which owns drug distribution company Xentra Pharm, and the Rotunda business, which appears to be controlled by an entity called Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland.

The performance of the various strands of the group are not consolidated together into one set of accounts, but their respective financial statements suggest that, last year, €1.6 million of the dividend came from Xentra, €400,000 from Human Assisted Reproduction, and the rest from the Sims Clinic.

Accounts filed for Virtus Health Ireland, the holding company for the Australian group’s stake in the business, show it received more than €3.2 million of the dividends pot, with the remainder paid to the minority shareholders.

Stock market filings in Australia say the Irish business recorded overall revenues of €21.7 million in 2018. Virtus said its business was the market leader here with almost 2,300 cycles of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation).

According to a schedule of fees on the Sims website, each cycle of IVF starts at €4,600, with egg donor services starting at €7,700.

In a recent update to its Australian shareholders, Virtus said the Irish Government had confirmed that an unknown level of State cash would be set aside this year to pay for citizens’ fertility services.

It also flagged that an Irish fertility industry regulator would be set up in 2020.