Ryman posts 24% gain in annual profit as property values, sales increase

Net profit increased to $241.9 million, or 48.4c per share.

Ryman Healthcare [NZX: RYM], New Zealand's largest listed retirement village builder and operator, posted a 24% gain in annual profit as the value of its properties increased and revenue rose.

Net profit increased to $241.9 million, or 48.4c per share, in the 12 months ended March 31, from $194.8 million, or 39cps, the year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Revenue rose 12% to $227.1 million as prices increased and the company booked a gain of $217.6 million on the value of its investment properties, up from a $174 million gain in the previous financial year.

Underlying earnings, which is used to determine dividend payments and doesn't include tax or unrealised gains in property values, rose 15% to $136.3 million, in line with the company's forecast.    

Ryman has been developing new villages as it seeks to benefit from ageing populations, adding a record 875 beds and units in the past year, with 620 in New Zealand and 255 in Australia.

It is beginning work on its second village in Melbourne and expects to have five villages open in Melbourne by 2020. 

"Our asset growth is driving strong earnings as our villages mature and this effect will actually amplify over the next five years and beyond as we build higher value villages in places like Auckland and Melbourne," chief financial officer Gordon MacLeod told a briefing in Auckland.

"We believe our growth will continue on a similar path over the next five years," chairman David Kerr told a briefing in Auckland.

Ryman will pay a final dividend of 7.3c per share on June 26, taking the total dividend for the year to 13.6cps, ahead of the 11.8cps dividend last year.

Shares in the company advanced 0.1% to $8.07 and have slipped 5.4 percent so far this year.


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