22 Nov 2013

Ryman first half net profit rises 14%

8:37 am on 22 November 2013

Ryman Healthcare's first-half net profit has risen 14%, boosted by rising property values, higher fee income and a smaller tax bill.

The retirement village operator's net profit for the six months to September rose to $78.4 million from nearly $68.8 million in the same six months last year.

Underlying profit, excluding unrealised gains, was up nearly 22% to a record $58.5 million.

Managing director Simon Challies said the profit growth reflected the rate at which Ryman was building new villages and units.

Ryman's recent purchases had lifted its New Zealand landbank from three to four year's worth of construction.

Ryman commits to second stage of build

The company said it had sold 48 of the 65 units it was building at its first village in Australia six months ahead of its opening.

There will be another 34 apartments in the second stage of the build.

The company is already looking for a site for a second village in Melbourne, though the first stage of the first village is still six months away from opening.

Mr Challies said his company has been pleasantly surprised by its Australian experience so far.

"We've been delighted with the response we've got from the local community because the idea of living in an apartment, and living in a village offering the continuum of care and our terms they like as well, so there's been good demand."

Mr Challies said there is a long lead time before constructing and opening a second site because planning approval must also be sought.

He said Ryman has signalled it is on track to achieve 15% growth for the year which means an underlying profit of between $115 million and $116 million for the year.