Discovery profits up despite US losses

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Discovery Health experienced a 34percent jump in profit despite mounting losses in its US-based business Destiny Health.

The group made a net profit of R541million for the six months to the end of December last year, a 34percent increase, the group said yesterday when it released its interim results.

The biggest driver of growth was Discovery Life, which delivered a 46percent growth to R497million in operating profits.

The overall growth was slowed down by recurring losses in the US-based subsidiary Destiny.

Discovery lost as much as R80million in six months through Destiny and has made several attempts to save the business, but the losses made last year were above the threshold set by the board of directors.

The company said it would be offloading the loss-making business as early as April. It has estimated that it will cost around R230million to phase Destiny off. Discovery said it will focus on its other US business, its Vitality programme which will be marketed as a stand alone product.