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Ryman profit rises 10% on opening of new villages

Friday 21st November 2008

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Ryman Healthcare, the biggest retirement home operator on the NZX, posted a 10% gain in first-half profit as it opened new villages amid rising demand.

Profit rose to $26 million in the six months ended September 30, from $23.6 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Including unrealised revaluations, net income rose 1% to $35 million. Operating revenue rose 28% to $45 million.

"Our operating cash flows were again very strong at $61 million for the half, which underlines our ability to both increase dividends and to fund our expansion programme, without seeking fresh capital," said chairman Dr David Kerr. Profit rose in what he called "a challenging marketplace."

The company opened its Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village in Nelson in the first half, which now has more than 150 residents. It is currently constructing a village in New Plymouth and work has begun on what will be the company's 20th village, in Whangarei. The developments are funded by term bank facilities.

Sales of occupation rights for its units rose 11% from a year earlier, it said.

"Based on our current building programme we expect our realised profits to be as good, if not slightly better, in the second half," Kerr said.

The company will pay a first-half dividend of 2.4 cents a share, up from 2.2 cents a year earlier. The share fell 0.7% to $1.34 and have fallen 34% this year, about matching the NZX 50's decline.

By Jonathan Underhill

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