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Summerset quarter sales up 6.8 per cent

NZN 8/01/2017

Summerset Group lifted fourth-quarter sales 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2016, led by sales of new retirement village units in a period that included the opening of a new site in Auckland's suburb of Ellerslie.

Sales of occupation rights rose to 156 in the three months ended December 31 from 146 a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement.

Of that, new sales rose 18 per cent to 106, while resales fell 11 per cent to 50, its second quarterly decline. Summerset said resale stock remains low with just 29 unsold units as at December 31.

The retirement village operator and developer's annual sales rose 14 per cent to 658, with a 24 per cent gain in new sales to 414, while resales were largely flat at 244.

"This reflects the uplift in build rate from 300 retirement units in 2015 to just over 400 retirement units in 2016," chief executive Julian Cook said. "A key driver of our strong results for the year is the current continuing development across 10 villages."

In October, Summerset said it expected annual underlying profit of between $53 million and $55m in calendar 2016, up from $37.8m a year earlier, as the nation's ageing population continues to generate demand for units at its villages.

The shares last traded at $4.65, and have gained 19 per cent over the past 12 months.

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