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Ryman Posts Record Half Year Result

Leading aged care and retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare today announced a realised profit of $36 million for the first half - a new record for the company. Unrealised valuation gains lifted the reported profit to $52 million.

Ryman shareholders will receive a 26% increase in their half year dividend. The interim dividend of 3.4 cents per share will be paid on December 10, and the record date for entitlements is December 3.

Shareholders equity lifted 7% to $490 million and the company generated strong operating cash flows of $73 million.

"We are delighted with the first half result," said Ryman chairman Dr David Kerr. "The significant growth in profit is largely due to us completing several new apartment blocks over the past six months, which have all proved very popular."

During the half Ryman completed 190 retirement village units and 117 resthome beds across five existing villages. The company also commenced works on its new Dunedin and Gisborne villages, and acquired a site for a new village in Tauranga.

"We are fortunate to be in such a strong financial position, as it allows us to continue to invest in new aged care facilities in New Zealand, and at the same time embark on development of our first village in Australia."

Ryman reported a realised profit of $61m for the year ended 31 March 2010, and has a medium term target of growing earnings by 15% per annum.

"We are trading well," said Dr Kerr, "and we are on track to achieve our target of 15% growth in realised profit for the full year."

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. Ryman is well positioned to cater for the accommodation and care needs of this group, which is estimated to grow at the rate of 12,000+ people per annum.

"We were very pleased to see the Government acknowledging the critically important role of aged residential care, and the need for substantial investment, in its recent review of the sector," said Dr Kerr.

The company currently owns 22 villages nationwide, which each offer a combination of retirement living and resthome care. The villages are all designed, built and operated by Ryman.

The company plans to open new villages in Dunedin, Gisborne, Christchurch and Tauranga. It has a landbank of just under 2,000 units and beds in New Zealand and is actively seeking a site for its first village in Australia.

The company is a six times winner of Best Retirement Village in New Zealand, serves over 5000 elderly New Zealanders, and employs over 2500 staff.


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