Corporate Strategy, Objectives & Competitive Advantages SHL’s opportunities for further growth in Australia are subject to limitations due to its dependence on Medicare, the government-funded health program. Hence, it has sought to grow beyond the borders of Australia through both organic operational growth and acquisitions. (Businessweek 2013) Even the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 has failed to stunt the SHL’s growth year-on-year. Its total assets have grown from to AUD 3.6 billion in 2008 to AUD 4.9 billion 2012 or by 36% in the last four years. This growth has been fueled by the 37%-increase in the Company’s equity from AUD 1.9 billion in 2008 to AUD 2.6 billion in 2012 as well as the 54%-increase in its long-term debt from AUD 792 million in 2008 to AUD 1.2 billion in 2012. (SHL 2013) The industry leadership position and goodwill enjoyed by SHL has given it access to sustainable and improved credit facilities. The Company has recently undertaken successful refinancing of its bank loans amounting to US$150 million and has set up a standby debt facility for €195 million (SHL 2013). With its technology-savvy operations, SHL has developed mobile technologies for inputting orders and transmitting results online via iPhone and iPad Apps. These Apps have enabled laboratories to work together in ways that were not possible before. (Austrade 2013) Share Price Performance SHL has been listed in the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since 1987. While the Company has proven to be resilient in the face of the GFC that struck the major markets all over the world, its share prices were not completely immune to the downtrend that gripped the ASX and its All Ordinaries Index in the aftermath of the GFC. SHL delivered earnings in 2009 that were significantly lower than in 2008 but the closing price of its shares in 2009 still managed to be higher than in the previous year. The Company’s net earnings amounted to AUD 171 million for the year 2009, 30% lower than the equivalent figure for 2008; notwithstanding this unfavorable turnout, SHL shares managed to increase to AUD 15.37 per share as of the end of the year 2009, or 5.5% higher than the 2008 closing price. The following graph compares the monthly movements of the SHL shares with the All Ordinaries (XAO) Index and the Health Care Index (XHJ) in the ASX in the last five years: Source: Australian Securities Exchange While SHL shares have generally followed the market and index trends from 2008 to 2012, they have delivered a bigger percentage of marginal increase for the year 2012 as compared to the All Ordinaries (XAO) Index. Source: Thomson Financial Industry Profile The following factors serve to significantly impact on the financial performance of SHL: A. Strong Australian Currency With the expansion of the Company’s operations outside Australia, the strengthening of its currency (Australian dollars or AUD) against the US Dollar (or USD), the Euro, the British Pound results to decreased consolidated revenue and income figures in its financial statements. (Australian Financial
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