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Record sales boost Summerset profit

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 09:09 25/02/2014

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Listed retirement village operator Summerset has more than doubled its net profit to $34.2 million, after a third consecutive year of record sales.

Summerset announced today that its net profit for the year ended December 31, 2013, was up 131 per cent on the previous year.

This included $8.4m in gains on the fair value of land held in Auckland and the recognition of income tax losses of $2.2m.

Managing director and chief executive Norah Barlow said 2013 was a year of high growth for Summerset.

The company has 18 villages across the country, but bought five new sites last year, in Lower Hutt and Trentham in the Wellington area, as well as New Plymouth and Christchurch.

These new sites lifted Summerset's land bank to more than 2100 retirement units, the company said.

But strong demand had seen a third year of record sales, as occupation rights sales increased by 21 per cent.

Gross sales exceeded 400 units for the first time, valued at $130m, up 28 per cent on the year before.

Barlow said Summerset was working to meet demand by supplying new units quickly, and built 209 units across six sites last year.

"Our results this year were driven by our in-house design and development capability, strong sales and our continuing reputation as the best retirement operator in Australasia," she said.

Barlow planned to retire in April this year, and would be replaced by current chief financial officer Julian Cook.

Cook said the company was always looking for new sites to build on.

The company's total assets grew last year by 20 per cent, to $845m.

It announced a final dividend of 3.25 cents a share.

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- Fairfax Media

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