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Ryman Half Year Profit up 15%

Christchurch based aged care and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare today announced a 15% increase in underlying profit, posting a record for a half year of $41 million. Unrealised valuation gains lifted the reported profit after tax to $60 million.

Ryman shareholders will receive a 15% increase in their dividend. The interim dividend of 3.9 cents per share will be paid on December 9, and the record date for entitlements is December 2.

"We lifted our build rate last year, and that decision is now starting to pay dividends," said chairman Dr David Kerr. "This is an outstanding result, especially when you consider the additional challenges faced this year by the Christchurch team."

Shareholders equity lifted 7% to $605 million and the company generated strong operating cash flows of $92 million, up 26% on the same period last year.

"We have generated exceptionally strong operating cash flows," said Dr Kerr, "which has allowed us to invest heavily in new hospital and dementia care facilities this year."

"In the past six months alone we’ve opened 170 beds - in New Plymouth, Hamilton, and Auckland, and in the second half we will be opening new aged care facilities in Gisborne, Christchurch and Tauranga to meet the growing demand for these services."

The NZ Government has recognised the need for an additional 12,000 – 20,000 aged care beds to meet the projected growth in demand over the next 15 years.

The company built and opened 199 retirement village units and 170 aged care beds in the six months ended 30 September.

"We are trading well and are experiencing strong levels of pre-sales at our new villages," reported Dr Kerr, "so we expect to achieve our target of 15% underlying profit growth for the full year."

The company recently announced the acquisition of its first site in Melbourne, and has this year purchased land for new villages in Waikanae and Howick.

The company has lifted its build rate to 550 units and beds per annum, holds a landbank of over 2,500 units and beds, and in the year ahead will open new villages in Gisborne, Tauranga and Christchurch.

Statistics NZ estimates the number of New Zealanders aged 75 plus will more than double from 250,000 to 516,000 over the next twenty years. In Australia the outlook is similar, with the number aged 75 plus set to double to 2.8 million.

Ryman currently owns 24 villages nationwide, which each offer a combination of retirement living and resthome care, and serves over 5700 residents.