Metlifecare to keep North Island focus as it seeks new developments
Metlifecare [NZX: MET], whose cornerstone shareholder Retirement Villages Group is in the process of selling its stake, sees the upper North Island as its focus for new development opportunities.
Managing director Alan Edwards told shareholders at today's annual meeting in Auckland that the 2014 financial year will be one of consolidation after last year's merger with Vision Senior Living and RVG's Private Life Care business, though it will continue to seek new greenfield and brownfield development opportunities. The retirement village operator and developer has 4,195 units and care beds, with a land bank of 1,000 additional units and wants to reach an annual build rate of 200 units by 2015.
"We have identified the golden triangle between Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and Hamilton as the most desirable geographical area for us to focus on," Edwards said in speech notes published on the NZX. "These markets have large and ageing populations, with people looking for quality retirement lifestyle options."
Metlifecare also plans to expand its care offering, adding or expanding aged care facilities at its villages, which it sees as a central component of any new development.
The company yesterday received resource consent for its 1000-unit Greenwich Gardens village on Auckland's North Shore.
Edwards said Auckland is particularly attractive with strong demand for "quality retirement and aged care options" in the area
Chairman Peter Brown told shareholders portfolio growth will be an important part of the 2014 financial year, and Metlifecare will be looking to buy suitable land sites which meet the company's criteria.
Director John Loughlin, who was to stand for re-election, withdrew and will retire at the end of today's meeting.
The shares fell 2.3 percent to $3.75 in trading this afternoon.