16 Dec 2020

Ryman to repay $14.2m for wage subsidy

3:58 pm on 16 December 2020

A third retirement village company - the country's largest, Ryman Healthcare - has announced plans to repay the the $14.2 million it received under the Covid-19 wage subsidy.

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One of Ryman Healthcare's complexes, the Anthony Wilding Retirement Village in Christchurch. Photo: Ryman Healthcare

Earlier today, the Summerset Group announced it would be paying back the nearly $9m it claimed, saying it was the right thing to do.

Ryman applied for the subsidy because it was unable to sell, market or build new units during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Its profit for the six months to September was $212.4m, compared with $188m the year before. However, excluding property value gains its underlying profit was down 14 percent on last year to $88m.

"We have regularly reviewed our position in relation to retaining the wage subsidy," Ryman chair David Kerr said.

"The improved outlook in New Zealand means we are now committed to repaying the subsidy. Once again, we'd like to thank the New Zealand government for its help."

Ryman said it spent about $50m to keep Covid-19 out of its facilities.

Three large retirement village operators have now moved to pay back the subsidy, totalling $30.3m.

Metlifecare was the first, returning the $6.8m it received from the scheme.

The Arvida Group claimed about $400,000 from the fund but said it had no immediate plans to repay the money.

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