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RESEND: Metlifecare says earnings may rise as much as 43%

RESEND: Metlifecare says annual earnings may rise as much as 43%

(Fixes typo in headline)

By Tina Morrison

May 23 (BusinessDesk) - Metlifecare, the retirement village operator which counts the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil as cornerstone investors, raised its guidance for full-year earnings, saying underlying profit may rise as much as 43 percent as it benefits from higher sales, bigger capital gains on property sales and more income from resales.

Underlying profit will probably be $43 million to $46 million in the year ending June 30, up from its previous expectation of $34 million to $38 million, and from $32.1 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. The guidance assumes recent trading conditions continue over the last two months of the financial year, it said. Underlying profit removes one-off gains, unrealised movements in the value of the company's property portfolio and deferred tax.

Metlifecare reported a 77 percent lift in first-half underlying profit to $15.3 million, and is focused on driving development opportunities in the upper North Island, where it hopes to benefit from an ageing population in need of quality retirement and aged care facilities. Today's upgrade to earnings guidance reflects stronger settlements activity at The Poynton Stage 3 development, higher capital gains and deferred membership fee income from resales activity, the company said.

The shares last traded at $4.18, and have gained 5.6 percent so far this year.


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