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Metlifecare posts loss on property valuations

Thursday 28th August 2008

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Metlifecare, which operates 16 retirement villages, posted a full-year loss because of changes to the way it treats property valuations. Trading revenue rose 21%.

The net loss was NZ$53 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from a year-earlier profit of NZ$101.7 million, the company said in a statement. Trading revenue rose to NZ$58 million from NZ$47.8 million.

The change in the fair value of Metlifecare's investment properties reflects the company's adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) though a weakening property market also weigh on values, chief executive Richard de Haast said.

"This is a solid result in what have been challenging market conditions," de Haast said. "Cash flow in the business remains very strong."

The company will pay a final dividend of eight cents, bringing its payments for the year to 19 cents. The stock traded yesterday at NZ$4.50, giving it a dividend yield of about 5%.

The shares have declined 40% this year, lagging behind the NZX 50 Index's 18% slide. Much of the decline occurred in January, when the company lost about a quarter of its market value after a fund manager reportedly dumped its stake.

By Jonathan Underhill

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