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Summerset first-quarter occupation rights rise 3.4%

Summerset Group [NZX: SUM], the retirement village operator asking shareholders to boost directors' fees 50 percent, lifted occupation rights in the first quarter from a year earlier.

The Wellington-based company increased sales of occupation rights by 3.4 percent to 92 in the three months ended March 31, from 89 a year earlier, it said in a statement. Of that, 48 were new sales, and 44 were resales, compared to 64 and 25 respectively a year earlier.

Late last month the group said it wanted to lift the pool for directors' fees from $400,000 to $600,000 to compensate the directors who replaced representatives of former cornerstone shareholder Quadrant Private Equity and add one board member. Earlier this year the company reported a profit of $34 million in calendar 2013, as sales of occupation rights to its retirement units reach an all-time high.

Shareholders will vote on the pool increase at its annual meeting in Wellington on April 30.

Shares in the company were at $3.41 before trading opened and have gained 4.9 percent this year, under-performing the benchmark index's 6.2 percent rise. Since Quadrant sold down its stake and listed the company on the NZX stock exchange the share price has gained 153 percent.

(BusinessDesk)