Metlifecare posts loss on $99.9m writedown in property valuation

BUSINESSDESK: Metlifecare, the retirement village operator that merged with major shareholders Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care, slashed the value of its property portfolio by $99.8 million, sending it to a full-year loss.

The company made a loss of $141.7 million, or $1.04 per share, in the year ended June 30, from a profit of $20.8 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 1.5% to $64.2 million, led by a 7.9% fall in the fees charged to residents for the use of village common facilities.

The writedown in the value of its property portfolio was in line with expectations and previous disclosures, the company said.

Last month, Metlifecare completed the merger with Vision and Private Life Care Holdings, which will give it eight new villages, taking its portfolio to 24, three of which are in development.

The all-scrip deal, valued at $91.8 million, came after the retirement village operator's balance date, lifting Metlifecare's total assets to some $1.9 billion.

It increased the number of units to 3902 from 2460 and added a further $128.9 million of bank debt to the company's books.

Metlifecare reporting annual operating cash flow of $31 million, beating guidance of $26.5 million, and up from $23 million a year earlier.

Trading and relicensing performance earnings rose to $46 million from $43.3 million.

Metlifecare reported 36 new sales of unit rights for gross settlements of $20.4 million, up from 29 new sales attracting $15.7 million in 2011. Unit rights resales increased to 294 attracting $93.5 million from 267 sales raising $98 million a year earlier.

The board didn't declare a dividend.

The shares rose 2% to $2.60 and are up 12% this year. The stock is rated a "buy" according to the one analyst recommendation compiled by Reuters, with a target price of $2.725.

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