We have not seen any significant or lasting improvements in the economic conditions in either New Zealand or Australia. Abano has focused on growth and extracting value from the market position of the Company, an example being the very successful Lumino The Dentists promotional campaign over the past 12 months.
We are well down the track to rebuilding earnings following the sale of our New Zealand audiology business in FY10. We are starting to enjoy the growing returns from our dental networks in Australia and New Zealand, and our radiology group now holds significant potential following the investments made over the past two years. Our investment into the long term development of our audiology network continues and we expect audiology to break even in two to three years’ time, with positive earnings contributions thereafter.
The continued success of Abano is due to the efforts of our senior management team, in particular, managing director Alan Clarke, and chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Richard Keys. They are supported by an experienced group of business leaders in each of our business units, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank them all and record our appreciation for their efforts over the past year.
Following the appointment of Ted van Arkel during FY12, the Abano Board currently consists of five independent directors and two executive directors. As previously announced, we will farewell long standing director, Alison Paterson, at the 2012 Abano annual meeting.
Alison has been involved with the Abano Board since 2002 and was chair from 2006 until 2011. During this time, our business grew strongly, expanded into Australia and South East Asia and returned $66.8 million in capital to shareholders. Under her stewardship, the Company received a number of Awards, including Top 200 Best Growth Strategy in 2008, Company of the Year in 2009, and in 2010, Alison was honoured as the Chairman of the Year. She leaves with our sincere thanks and recognition for her very valuable contribution to Abano’s success.
On behalf of the Board, thank you for your support of Abano Healthcare Group.
Trevor Janes, Chairman