Mergers boost Metlifecare profit

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 11:10 22/02/2013
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Listed retirement village and aged care provider Metlifecare says it is actively looking for development opportunities in the North Island following a solid post-merger interim result.

The firm, which moved into the NZX top 50 index two months ago, posted a net profit after tax of $87.1 million, including a one-off gain on acquisition of $63.6m.

Excluding the gain, after tax profit was $23.5m, compared to $7.41m in the same period in 2011.

Unit sales and resales also rose to 251, up from 165 in the previous period, as a result of the company's larger post-merger portfolio.

Managing director Alan Edwards said the firm was enjoying improved cashflow.

"It has been a busy period following the merger and we are now seeing immediate and significant benefits flowing through as we realise cost efficiencies, synergies and opportunities within our larger group."

Its merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care Holdings in July last year added eight villages to its now 23-village portfolio.

In the next six months, the firm said it would seek to expand its in-home care to occupants of its retirement village and progress its development pipeline.

It has plans for another 843 development units or beds, including its North Shore development, the Poynton, and sites in Glenfield and Unsworth Heights, Albany.

Edwards said guidance of a full-year operating cashflow of $60m, before interest and one-off acquisition costs, was still on track.

Operating cashflow during the period rose to $19.5m, up from $7.28m.

During the first half, Metlifecare moved onto the NZX's top 50 index and saw its revenue rise to $43.75m, up from $30.9m.

The firm has reintroduced dividend payments, with an interim 1c per share to be paid on April 17.

Shares in Metlifecare fell a cent to $3.10 in mid-morning trading.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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