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Ryman Committed to Growth Path

Leading aged care and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare remains committed to its building programme, the company's annual meeting of shareholders heard in Auckland today.

The annual meeting was hosted at Ryman's new flagship village, the Edmund Hillary Retirement Village in Remuera.

"Construction of our new village in New Plymouth is well under way, and we are anticipating that we will start works in Whangarei and Orewa in the very  near future," said chairman Dr David Kerr.

Ryman recently reported a record profit of $72.6 million, 22 percent up on the previous year, and lifted the annual dividend by 25% to 5 cents per share.  Shareholders equity lifted to $372 million with debt remaining at  conservative levels.

"Our new villages are all performing well, including our Nelson village,  which opened in March this year and is already home to over 100 residents."

"We have reviewed the first quarter's performance and I am pleased to advise that we are trading in line with expectations, in terms of our underlying earnings," Dr Kerr advised shareholders.

Despite the slowdown in the residential property market over the past year, the company remains committed to its target of opening two new villages per annum to meet the growing demand.  

"We have already adapted to the changes in the property market and are well-positioned to weather a downturn. We have a strong balance sheet, a healthy landbank and there is a burgeoning need for our services," said Dr Kerr.

According to Statistics NZ the number of New Zealanders aged 85 plus is set to balloon. Over the next five years alone this age group is projected to grow by 26%, and by 2031 their number will have increased almost three-fold.

Ryman currently owns 18 villages nationwide, which offer a continuum of care from independent and assisted living to resthome and hospital care for the elderly. The company plans to open two new villages each year, which are all designed, built and operated by Ryman.

The company is a six times winner of Best Retirement Village in New Zealand, and serves over 4000 elderly New Zealanders.