Making a $7.4 million net profit from assets worth $1.2 billion did not delight all institutional investors in retirement village operator Metlifecare, which released its December half-year result yesterday.

But the company emphasised a 278 per cent rise in net after-tax profit, from $1.9 million.

One institutional investor was yesterday examining the effects of poor sales at the company's multi-level Takapuna retirement complex, The Poynton, wondering about the effects of a depressed residential property market and the impact on sales.

Wade Gardiner, UBS analyst, also cited that project as not being a great success. "In the past five years the only significant development Metlifecare has undertaken has been The Poynton which by its own admission was not executed well."

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Metlifecare said it had sold just 12 Poynton units in the half-year, having to offer incentive deals to boost sales.

UBS initiated coverage with a buy rating and a price target of $2.90 but a detailed report said it was examining Metlifecare, taking into account no housing market price growth.

Metlifecare shares were yesterday steady at $2.40.

Craig Tyson of OnePath said the half-year result was "solid".