Summerset sales up 21pc

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 13:09 08/01/2014

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Sales by retirement village operator Summerset Group jumped 21 per cent in 2013, buoyed by what its boss calls "a sell-as-we-build policy" and strong brand recognition.

Gross cash for sales for the year were $131 million, up from $102m in 2012.

The group achieved 402 sales of occupation rights across the year ending December 31, 2013, made up of 228 new sales and 174 resales.

Outgoing chief executive Norah Barlow said the company, which operates elderly care facilities throughout the country, had benefited greatly from the exposure from industry awards and an NZX listing.

"The name recognition has increased markedly over the past three years," Barlow said.

"Where we used to have to approach and actively sell new sites, we now have people actively seeking out Summerset facilities and homes when they become available, rather than any old retirement village."

That "preferred operator" status and recognition would place the company well in the future, as she stepped down in April, she said.

"Achieving over 400 sales of occupation rights for the year is another milestone achieved for the company and reflects our experience as operators.

"We are constantly looking to improve what we do and offer and our sales reflect this," Barlow said.

New sales were centred around the development of the villages, including sites in Nelson, Dunedin, Katikati and Hamilton

The fourth quarter of 2013 was particularly strong with 60 new sales of occupation rights and 51 resales of occupation rights, a 50 per cent increase compared on the 74 sales in the same period in the 2012 financial year.

Summerset Group shares responded by climbing 1 cent to $3.48.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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