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Strong Demand Drives Ryman Expansion

Leading aged care and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare is on track to open two new villages and to lift realised profits and dividends again this year, the company's annual meeting of shareholders heard in Christchurch today.

"We are experiencing strong demand for our new villages," said chairman Dr David Kerr, "so there is no let up in our building programme - we're as busy as we've ever been."

Ryman recently reported a record realised profit of $53 million, and lifted the annual dividend to 5.25 cents per share.

Earlier this year, the company opened the Jean Sandel Retirement Village in New Plymouth, and will open large-scale villages in Whangarei and Orewa over the next six months.

"It is very satisfying to be able to invest more than $100 million in our new villages this year, creating jobs and providing elderly New Zealanders with a first class choice in their retirement."

"We have reviewed the first quarter's performance and I am pleased to advise that we are trading well," Dr Kerr told shareholders. "We are ahead of last year and we are comfortable with the market expectations of our realised profits for the current year."The company also welcomed their new banking partner CBA, who have joined long term banker ANZ, as a provider of bank debt facilities to the group.

In late June, NZX confirmed that Ryman was the top performing company on the exchange over the past ten years. Since listing in 1999 the company has increased profits and dividends nine-fold without seeking any fresh capital from shareholders.

Ryman currently owns 21 villages nationwide, and plans to open two new villages each year. The villages are all designed, built and operated by Ryman.

The company is a six times winner of Best Retirement Village in New Zealand, serves over 4500 elderly New Zealanders and employs over 2,000 staff.