August 12, 2013 / 8:56 PM / 4 years ago

NZ's Summerset H1 net profit soars on growing sales

WELLINGTON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Profits at the New Zealand retirement village operator Summerset Group Ltd more than doubled in the six months ended June due to growing sales.

Net profit after tax came in at NZ$10.8 million, the company said on Tuesday, compared with NZ$3.9 million a year ago.

“We have seen sales of occupation rights grow strongly in the first half of the year and are seeing good waitlists in all of our villages,” Managing Director and CEO Norah Barlow said in a statement.

Barlow said she would retire in the first half of 2014.

The company said it expected to declare a final dividend in line with policy following full year results.

Last month, Summerset said first-half sales were up 11 percent on a year ago.

It has a total of 16 retirement villages in operation or in development, with a stated aim of building 200 units this year, and 300 units next year.

The company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in late 2011, and debuted on the Australian exchange in mid-July.

Shares in Summerset closed at NZ$3.00 on Monday. So far this year, it risen 33 percent, hitting a post-float high of NZ$3.25 in May, against an 11 percent gain for the benchmark NZX-50 index.

In May, major shareholder Quadrant Private Equity Funds Management Ltd cut its stake to about 23 percent from 37 percent.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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