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Health firm's profits fall by 75% after settlement

By PA Reporter

Spire Healthcare's shares tumbled more than 16% in reaction to a 75% plunge in profits after the hospital group shelled out £27.2m to help compensate victims of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

The company said pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30 tumbled to £8.9m from £35.7m a year earlier after it set aside millions of pounds for a fund that will provide financial redress for approximately 750 patients.

The news sent Spire's shares falling by 50.2p per share to 259.7p.

The compensation settlement, which was reached earlier this week, will see Spire Healthcare put forward most of the cash for the £37m fund.

Some £10m will be provided by Paterson's insurers and by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

The agreement begins to close the book on a difficult period for Spire, after it emerged that Paterson exaggerated or invented cancer risks and claimed payments for more expensive procedures.

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