NASDAL benchmarking stats show private practices in recovery

NASDAL benchmarking stats show private practices in recovery

Report from Alan Suggett, head of UNW Dental Business Unit: alansuggett@unw.co.uk

For the first time in eight years, the profit level of the average private practice is almost the same as the average NHS practice, based on the latest benchmarking statistics from NASDAL.  The average net profit in 2012/13 for a principal of a private practice was £124,086 compared to £125,958 for a principal of an NHS practice.

Calculated annually by NASDAL the statistics are gathered from a sample of practices across the UK to provide average ‘state-of-the-nation’ figures.  They are used by NASDAL accountants to help dentists and dental practices benchmark their figures.

Looking at the market as a whole, the financial performance of a typical dental practice has changed little. What’s interesting is to see how differently NHS and private practices are faring due to the flexibility that private principals have to adjust both prices and costs.

NHS practices have experienced a modest increase in fee income but a significant increase in costs and as a result have seen a continued downward trend in profitability. By contrast, private practices have enjoyed their first increase in profits since the financial year 2007/8.

Life appears to be better for some associates too since they have enjoyed a modest increase in fee income and profit – the first since 2008/09 – and may also be experiencing a slight recovery. The average net profit for an associate in 2012/13 was £67,770.

The message from the survey is that NHS practices have continued a downward trend in terms of income and profitability, whereas private practices have started to recover. Profit of a typical private practice was almost the same as an NHS practice in 2012/13, whereas back in 2008/09 the profit differential was more than £30K.

Although, fee income for a typical private practice has continued to fall, practices would appear to have become leaner, reduced costs and increased profit.

NASDAL press release here

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