17 May 2012
Christchurch based aged care and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare today announced a 17% increase in underlying profit, posting a new record of $84 million for the year. Unrealised valuation gains lifted the reported profit after tax to $121 million.
The result is a significant milestone, as it marks ten years in succession of record profit results for the company.
Ryman shareholders will receive a 17% increase in their annual dividend to 8.4 cents per share. The final dividend of 4.5 cents per share will have a record date for entitlements of June 8, and will be paid on June 22.
"It’s an exceptional result" said chairman Dr David Kerr. "The company has faced some major challenges in Christchurch over the past 18 months, and has responded with a performance which exceeds even our own targets."
The company built 710 retirement units and aged care beds during the year, up 24% on the previous year, and well ahead of its target build rate of 550 units and beds per annum.
"The lift in build rate reflected the significant investment we made in hospital and dementia facilities this year, and our decision to fast-track new Christchurch facilities post-earthquake."
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.
New villages were opened in Gisborne and Tauranga during the year, and the new village in Christchurch welcomed its first townhouse residents in March this year.
"We are experiencing strong demand for our villages," said Dr Kerr , "which has spurred us on to keep building at the rate of 700 units and beds per annum in New Zealand."
Operating cashflows were up 27% to $169 million for the year, allowing the company to self-fund the bulk of its building activity. Bank facilities increased to meet the additional working capital required to build at a higher run-rate in New Zealand, and to fund the company’s expansion into Australia.
The company recently received planning approval for its Waikanae village, and is currently working through the planning process for its Melbourne and Howick villages. Several new sites in New Zealand are currently under active consideration.
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.
Established in 1984 Ryman currently owns 24 villages nationwide, which each offer a combination of retirement living and aged care, and serves over 6000 residents.