LifeCare Residences reported a pre-tax profit of £19.5m (2017: £22.8m) in the year ended 31 March 2018, with the company operating three ‘fully sold-down’ retirement villages in the UK.

In terms of its growth strategy the group is going through a planning application process for a village in Hampstead, London, as well as a nursing home and an additional 10 apartments at Grove Place Village in Nursling, Hampshire.

Turnover during the year was down to £28.4m (2017: £78.7m), while cost of sales stood at £21.5m (£55.3m). The group was left with a gross profit of £6.9m, down from £23.4m the year previous.

After administrative expenses and ‘fair value movements’ on its properties the group posted an operating profit of £17.1m (2017: £26m). Interest and other income helped boost its pre-tax profit.

The average occupancy in its nursing homes at Somerleigh Court in Dorchester, Dorset, was 92.9% (2017: 90.5%), while at Battersea Place in London it was 29% (2017: 5%). This was below the industry standard because of construction works that took place during the year.

As of the end of August the group was operating 286 apartments and 68 nursing home beds.

In May, chief executive Nigel Sibley told CM that he hoped the UK would follow New Zealand and establish a clear legal framework within which operators can develop retirement villages.

He said: ‘The journey that the industry in New Zealand has been on is a text book case for other countries to learn from. We hope that there are the green shoots of industry growth in the UK which could now follow a similar roadmap to New Zealand.’

Caption: Battersea Place, London