Quality Care nurses its profits to a healthy pounds 2m

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QUALITY Care Homes, the Darlington-based operator of nursing homes for elderly people needing a high level of care, beat its July pounds 1.75m listing forecast with a 135 per cent increase in pre-tax profits, before exceptional items, to pounds 1.99m in the year to 31 October, writes Terence Wilkinson.

Hamish Grossart, the chairman, said that occupancy rates in the last four months of the year were higher than expected. The results were also helped by a more rapid inflow of new residents to two new homes, and a favourable outcome on net interest payable.

The strong performance had continued in November and December.

As forecast, a dividend of 0.75p a share is being paid. QCH shares rose 8p to 218p compared with the 136p price at which 3.6 million shares were placed last July.

At the year-end QCH had 540 beds in operation, a figure expected to rise to 750 by the end of October as new accommodation comes into service.