24 Aug 2012

Metlifecare announces loss, but optimistic for future

9:30 am on 24 August 2012

Retirement village operator Metlifecare has ended the year $132 million in the red due to a tax charge and a fall in property value.

The retirement village operator says an independent valuation of its portfolio led to changes in key assumptions, such as discount rates and property price growth, resulting in a decline of nearly $100 million in the value of its properties.

The company also faced a $38 million tax charge.

Despite the loss, chief executive Alan Edward says the underlying business is profitable, with sales up 12% and occupancy up to 93%.

Metlifecare recently bought two of its rivals and Mr Edward says management is very focussed on integrating the businesses, as well as on debt reduction and development opportunities.

"Overall we're looking to deliver an improving result to the market," he says.

The company plans to make a decision on a dividend at its October AGM, once post-merger financial and development strategies are finalised.