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Bupa profits drop by 70 per cent

The private health firm is hit hard by spending squeeze.

Bupa's profits dropped by a massive 70 per cent to £118m in 2010 from £416.5m in 2009.

Bupa is the UK's largest private medical company, but as companies cut health benefits and individual membership faltered due to the effects of the financial crisis, it lost roughly 20 000 customers in 2010.

Spending cuts to local authorities also affected Bupa, who say that 70% of residents in their care homes are paid for by local councils or the NHS when they could not provide spaces themselves.

Further cuts are expected for Bupa's UK wing to remain competitive, but its international business has in fact grown 9 per cent to £7.6bn with increased demand in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and India responsible for this.

Liam McLaughlin is a freelance journalist who has also written for Prospect and the Huffington Post. He tweets irregularly @LiamMc108.