Summerset buys land to expand Warkworth retirement village

Summerset Group, New Zealand’s third-largest listed retirement village operator, has bought land in Warkworth, enabling it to extend its existing village.

The Wellington-based company bought an extra 2.4 hectares, which would allow it to build 77 retirement units adjacent to its existing Summerset Falls village, it said in a statement. The current village has 220 residents and is almost complete, with a care apartment building due for completion next year, it said.

“We have experienced very strong interest in the Warkworth area,” said chief executive Julian Cook. “With the purchase of this land, we will be able to extend our village and provide more retirement village living options to the wider Warkworth community.”

Summerset has said 2015 underlying earnings will probably rise as much as 39 percent as it benefits from record sales of units. It said today it is on target to deliver 300 retirement units across its 20 villages in 2015, and to exceed 300 units in 2016 and it continues to look for additional sites across the country.

The earnings forecast doesn’t include the impact of unrealised property valuation gains. It will publish first-half earnings on Aug. 11.

Shares in Summerset last traded at $3.92. The stock has gained 42 percent so far this year, making it the second-best performer on the S&P/NZX 50 Index behind Nuplex Industries which has gained 45 percent.

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