Medical lab operator CML HealthCare outlines strategy for growth, innovation

TORONTO – Medical lab operator CML HealthCare Inc. (TSX:CLC) says it’s working on a series of strategic initiatives that will modernize the company and help it grow.

The company is planning to build, streamline and automate its current infrastructure to deliver a greater volume and variety of medical laboratory tests. It’s also looking at new jurisdictions and new business-to-business relationships.

“Our intention is to grow this business through a series of small bets. It doesn’t preclude us from doing larger deals, but it’s not that we believe that we need to do a larger deal,” Thomas Wellner, CML’s president and CEO, told analysts.

The Toronto-area company operates 113 centres in Ontario that collect blood and other samples for medical testing. It also has 103 medical imaging centres in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Wellner said 94 per cent of CML’s revenue currently comes from provincial governments.

“While on one hand that’s great because it’s a strong single payer model, the other side of it is every provincial government is coping with all of these demographic demands that are happening as well as all the other things that are growing in the business,” Wellner said.

At the core of CML’s business is its management of logistics and information, and regularly comes in contact with about one-third of the Canadian population.

CML is also working to commercialize early-stage technologies in medical diagnostics in partnership with an Ontario government agency known as MaRS Innovation.

The company announced Tuesday it will provide up to $1 million over three years for the initiative, with additional support from MaRS Innovation.

Wellner also announced a number of changes to CML’s senior management team and outlined the company’s growth and innovation strategy in broad terms.

CML shares traded at $8.80 at midmorning, down seven cents from the previous close.