Increase in beds lifts Takare to pounds 9.4m gain

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TAKARE, the country's largest nursing home operator, is likely to hit the top end of its target range of building 1,500 to 1,800 beds this year, and a new design will enable it to move more rapidly into the high demand area of the South-east, according to Keith Bradshaw, chairman.

A 20 per cent increase in newly occupied beds helped to drive Takare's pre-tax profits, for the six months to 30 June, 35 per cent higher to pounds 9.4m, or by 43 per cent excluding a pounds 370,000 exceptional profit last year on the sale of a nursing home.

Earnings rose only slightly from 6.3p to 6.4p a share, reflecting the dilutive effect of last autumn's pounds 68m rights issue, but growth is expected to resume as investments in new developments mature. The interim dividend is 14 per cent up at 0.8p.

Takare has 7,410 beds in operation and under construction. This will rise to 8,310 by the end of this year if Takare hits the top of its 1,500 to 1,800 new building target.

Despite the delays to admissions caused by the 1993 Community Care Act, Takare lifted its average occupancy rate from 97 to 97.3 per cent in the half-year. Turnover rose by 22 per cent to pounds 42.5m.

Operating margin fell from 23.7 to 22.7 per cent because of higher spending on repair and maintenance and compensation and legal fees payable to Dev Pritchard, former managing director.

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