18th March 2020
This announcement contains Inside Information as defined under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014
McCarthy Stone (the 'Group'), the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities, today issues an update on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the business.
Our immediate priority is the health and safety of our residents, employees and contractors. We have been taking every step we can to reduce the risk of infection across our developments to the extent possible within the concept of independent living. We are working closely with our regional teams and our House and Estate Managers to put in place appropriate preventative measures following and, in many cases, exceeding the advice from Government and Public Health England.
Monday's announcement from the Government setting out its response to the increasing number of cases, marks an escalation in the protective measures specified, including likely self-isolation for those over 70 years of age for an initial period of c. 3 months. At this stage, it is too early to speculate on the full extent of the resulting impact on our financial performance for the full year and beyond. However, we do anticipate an inevitable material impact on trading in the coming months.
The Board would like to reiterate that the business continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and it has taken action to fully draw down its £200m revolving cash facility, resulting in a current available cash balance of £127m. The Board is currently evaluating a number of actions to balance the preservation of cash with the long-term needs of the business. Given the current need for prudent cash management, the Board has decided to withdraw Resolution 4 in relation to the final dividend payment of 3.5p per ordinary share that was to be proposed at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 25 March 2020.
Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
For more information, please contact:
McCarthy Stone, 01202 292480
Paul Teverson, Director of Communications
Marina Calero, IR Director
Powerscourt, 020 7250 1446 / [email protected]
Notes to Editors
McCarthy Stone is the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities, with a significant market share. The Group buys land and then builds, sells and manages high-quality retirement developments. It has built and sold more than 58,000 properties across more than 1,300 retirement developments since 1977 and is renowned for its focus on the needs of those in later life.
There is growing demand for retirement communities. There are currently 12.2 million people aged 65 or over, rising to 17.4m by 2043, representing a 43% increase1. For those aged 85 or over, the increase will be larger, from 1.6m to 3.0m, representing an 87% increase. Research shows that 33% of those aged 65 or over are interested in moving, equating to c.4 million people2.
McCarthy Stone has two main product ranges - Retirement Living and Retirement Living PLUS - which provide mainly one and two-bedroom apartments across the country with varying levels of support and care for older people. Retirement Living developments provide independence in private apartments designed specifically for the over-60s, as well as facilities such as communal lounges and guest suites that support companionship. Retirement Living PLUS developments, which are designed specifically for the over-70s, offer all of this plus more on-site facilities such as restaurants, well-being suites and function rooms. Importantly, they also provide on-site flexible care and support packages to assist those needing additional help.
All developments built since 2010 are managed by the company's in-house management services team, providing peace of mind that it will look after customers and their properties over the long term. This is a key part of how McCarthy Stone seeks to enrich its customers' lives. This commitment to quality and customer service continues to be recognised by residents. In March 2019, the Group received the full five star rating for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation for the fourteenth consecutive year - making it the only UK developer, of any size or type, to achieve this accolade.
For further information, please visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk
1ONS population projections (2018)
2YouGov research for McCarthy Stone (2019)