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Further growth for Ryman after record year

Friday 8th August 2003

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Listed retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare today forecast further growth in the next year after posting a record $15.3 million annual net profit in 2003.

Chairman David Kerr told Rymanís annual meeting in Christchurch today they had budgeted for "steady earnings growth in the 2004 financial year".

"The results for the first quarter confirm that ongoing earnings have certainly lifted. The group is currently performing to our expectations."

Analysts have tipped Ryman to join the NZSX50 later next month. Ryman sit around No.34 in the market on capitalisation.

"We now have over 85% of the companyís shares being held by shareholders other than those you might call cornerstone shareholders and we are now seeing daily share trading in the order of 100,000 per day."

He said the record 2003 financial year to March 31 was very satisfactory for the company.

As well as the $15.3 million (38% increase) net profit, revenue increased by 53% compared to last year with revenue totalling $94.3 million. The revenue gain came on a 52% increase in sales.

Ryman managing director Kevin Hickman said a change in government funding will improve care for elderly in New Zealand.

On October 1 the government will devolve the funding of aged care from the Ministry of Health to the 21 district health boards.

"We believe this will create further opportunity for Ryman as one of the most efficient providers of long stay resthome and hospital care," he said.

Ryman operates 12 retirement villages and has won approval to construct the company's largest village, next to the Remuera golf course, in Auckland. A new site has also been acquired in Napier.

Construction work will be seen on these sites next year. Focus for further development continues to be on North Island centres.

Ryman provide homes and care services to more than 2000 New Zealanders, employing more than 1000 staff. The company is the leading retirement village operator in New Zealand on profitability.

Already 10 villages have passed the Ministry of Health new quality certification process which is an outstanding achievement, Dr Kerr said.

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