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Ryman Healthcare profit up 15% as fee income jumps

Ryman Healthcare, the retirement village operator whose shares jumped 51% this year, posted a 15% gain in first-half profit and bumped up its dividend as fee income grew.

Profit rose to $68.8 million, or 13.8 cents a share, in the six months ended September 30, from $59.6 million, or 11.9 cents a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company says in a statement.

Revenue rose 19% to $87.9 million.

Ryman's total retirement village units and care beds increased to 5882 in the first half, from 5107 a year earlier, and it has another 2295 units equivalent to be developed.

In the latest period it completed its Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch and gained approvals to build its first village in Melbourne.

"We are trading well and we're on track to achieve our target 15% underlying profit growth for the full year," chairman David Kerr says.

"We've invested heavily in new aged care and retirement communities over the past 18 months and we are seeing some reward for that commitment."

Ryman will pay a first-half dividend of 4.6 cents a share, up 18% from a year earlier. The shares last traded at $4.08 and reached a record $4.16 in September.

They are rated "outperform" based on a Reuters survey of seven analysts, with a price target of $4.09.

In the first half, care fees rose 19% to $71.8 million and management fees climbed 19% to $15.7 million. Operating expenses were up 17.6% to $64 million.


Comments and questions

New Zealand's hero stock with a proven track record. Money should be rushing into this company as people flee uncertain and cyclical investments with the fiscal cliff coming up.

Good luck to you Pablo.