WELLINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - New Zealand rest home operator Ryman Healthcare Ltd's first half profit rose 15.3 percent due to increasing sales from its aged care and retirement communities, and the firm said it was on track to meet its underlying profit target for the year.
The company on Thursday said net after tax profit for the six months to Sept 30 was NZ$69 million ($55.89 million) compared with NZ$59.6 million a year earlier.
The result included unrealised property value gains. It said underlying profit rose 16 percent to a record high of NZ$48 million.
It declared an interim dividend of 4.6 cents a share, up from 3.9 cents last year.
"We are trading well and we're on track to achieve our target of 15 percent underlying profit growth for the full year," Chairman David Kerr said in a statement.
The company operates 24 villages nationwide, with a further four planned or under development. It has raised its building rate to 700 units a year.
Shares in the top-10 company closed on Wednesday at NZ$4.08. So far this year it gained nearly 51 percent in price compared to a 21 percent gain for the benchmark NZX-50 index. ($1 = 1.2345 New Zealand dollars) (Gyles Beckford)