27/01/2008 Emma Vickers – Sunday Express
RETIREMENT home developer McCarthy & Stone increased its profits by more than 40 per cent in its first year in private hands as more pensioners opted for the security of its managed apartments.
The group, which specialises in one and twobedroom flats for the elderly, grew profits to £154million in its financial year to August 31, compared with £108million the year before.
McCarthy and Stone was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2006 by a consortium including HBOS, Aldersgate Investments and West Coast Capital — the investment company of Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter. Chief executive Howard Phillips said although the Northern Rock crisis had weakened the UK housing market, the business was protected from the downturn by its elderly customer base.
He said: “Most of McCarthy & Stone’s customers will buy a retirement apartment out of need, so the business is less exposed to the housing market than other more mainstream housebuilders are.”
McCarthy & Stone, which sold 2,327 units in the 2007 financial year, aims to increase its size over the next five years to sell in excess of 4,000 units annually.