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Summerset annual earnings rise 50pc

NZN 22/02/2017 Tina Morrison

Summerset has boosted annual earnings 50 per cent after opening more retirement villages and improving its margins.

Underlying earnings, which excludes property revaluations, increased to $56.6 million in calendar 2016, from $37.8m a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said on Thursday.

That's ahead of its forecast for earnings of between $53m and $55m.

Net profit jumped 73 per cent to $145.5m, as the value of the company's investment properties increased by $143.5m, compared with an $83.5m gain a year earlier.

Summerset invested $200m in new and existing villages in 2016. The company delivered a record 409 retirement units during the year, 35 per cent more than in 2015, and it raised its target for 2017 to around 450 units.

"As one of the country's largest retirement village developers and operators, we have established an offering that sees us develop new villages efficiently and operate them well," said chief executive Julian Cook.

The company will pay a final dividend of 5.1 cents per share on March 22, taking the annual dividend to 7.7 cents, ahead of the 5.25 cent dividend paid in the first half of the previous year.

Summerset shares last traded at $4.91 and have gained 26 per cent the past 12 months.

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