FMC shares down as company sees patient mortality weigh on profits

BERLIN, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Shares in the world’s largest kidney dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) fell sharply on Tuesday after it warned adjusted net income would likely drop by a quarter this year as the pandemic takes a heavy death toll among its patients.

FMC shares, which are listed on Germany’s blue-chip index DAX, dropped 6.2%, while those of parent company Fresenius were down 2.9% at 0718 GMT.

“The significant acceleration in November and December 2020 of COVID-19 related patient excess mortality is expected to continue into 2021,” FMC said in an unscheduled statement on Monday evening.

The company, which derives about 70% of group sales from North America, provides blood cleansing to patients suffering from failed kidneys and manufactures medical gear needed for the procedure.

Many of its patients are elderly, overweight and diabetic, which are frequent causes of kidney failure, but also high-risk factors for severe COVID-19. (Reporting by Thomas Seythal. Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt. Editing by Mark Potter)