Stronger than previous property revaluations pushed up interim reported net profit of New Zealand's largest listed retirement business 32 per cent.
Ryman Healthcare made $281.5 million reported net profit after tax in the half-year to September 30, 2021, up on $212.4m in the previous corresponding half-year.
Unrealised revaluations on property investments rose $178.7m - included in the reported net profit figure - which were stronger than the September 2020 half-year's $124.1m.
But the company highlighted a different figure - unaudited first-half underlying profit up 8.5 per cent to $95.9m.
Demand for retirement living and aged care remains strong despite the challenges of the pandemic, it said.
Ryman now has assets of $9.85b although its market cap is just above $6b.
It is paying an interim dividend of 8.8cps, the same as previously.
Retirement village unit and bed re-sale revenue rose 53.5 per cent in the half-year "reflecting increased pricing and higher volumes".
Ryman has a new CEO, Richard Umbers. He has worked most of his career in retail, most recently divisional director of buying at German supermarket retailer Kaufland and as chief executive and managing director at retailer Myer in Australia.
But he's also worked here previously.
Umbers held senior roles at Woolworths in Australia and was managing director of Progressive Enterprises here, now trading as Countdown. Earlier in his career, he held senior leadership roles with Australia Post and Aldi in Europe.
He studied geology and geography at the University of Exeter and science and finance at the University of Leicester, was a British army officer from 1989 to 1994, then worked for German-headquartered retailing giant Aldi in England and Ireland.
Umbers moved to Woolworths in Auckland and then in Sydney from 2002 to 2010.
Today, Umbers said the Delta strain meant Melbourne and Auckland villages were in lockdown. But sales rose, up 48 per cent to $510m in the first half.
Only 1.2 per cent of the retirement village portfolio was available for resale by September 30.
"When you consider the extent of the lockdowns in Auckland and Melbourne, which are our biggest markets, sales have been remarkably resilient," Umbers said.
Restrictions easing in Victoria and high vaccination rates in both countries were welcome, he said.
Ryman started work on three new sites: at Takapuna, Highett and Ringwood East in Melbourne. It is now working on 15 new villages.
"After 20 months of living in a pandemic we're used to adapting and doing things differently. There's pressure on all our resources but we have strong supply lines and relationships with contractors," Umbers said today.
Ryman shareholders have already heard how the company is expanding fast.
In July, shareholders at the AGM heard were told the company's landbank had room for 4007 units and beds here and 2399 in Victoria.
The company has a big pandemic drive on too.
Kerr said Ryman had dispensed more than 24,000 Covid vaccines to its residents and staff and other retirement villages were getting Ryman to vaccinate residents.
He thanked staff for keeping 12,750 residents safe from the virus.
"We've kept our residents and team safe from Covid-19, continued to grow and develop and we have tremendous cause for optimism thanks to the availability of vaccines," Kerr said in July.
Shares were yesterday trading around $13.65, down 12 per cent annually, well down in the $15.58 in September.