Private hospital owner-operator Wakefield Health said its earnings bounced back in the year to March after the company barely made a profit in the previous year.

The NZX-listed company reported net profit after tax of $6 million for the March year, compared with a net profit of just $0.58m in the previous year.

The previous year's earnings were hit by one-off deferred tax adjustments. The revaluation of interest-rate swaps also distorted the comparisons.

Adjusting for these items, underlying earnings for the year were $6.52m, up 27.2 per cent.


Wakefield declared a final dividend of 10c per share, up from 8c in the previous year.

This will bring the total dividend for the year to 17c, compared to 15c in the previous year.

Chairman Alan Isaac said the improvement was despite challenging trading conditions.

"Altogether it has been an extremely positive year where we have been able to rebuild the momentum in our existing business and at the same time expand into desirable new geographic markets for the company," he said.

Investments made during the year have had an immediate positive impact on earnings, making a contribution to net earnings in the second half of the financial year.

The company is in the final stages of completing the redevelopment of the Bowen Hospital.