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McCarthy & Stone PLC (MCS)

McCarthy & Stone PLC

AGM & Business Update
RNS Number : 5150H
McCarthy & Stone PLC
25 March 2020

McCarthy & Stone plc


This announcement contains Inside Information as defined under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014


· Our dedicated services teams continue to work tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of our homeowners

· Decisive actions taken to preserve cash and ensure the long-term health of the business

· Strong balance sheet of c.£687m TNAV at 28 February 2020 provides additional cash generation opportunities

· All cash measures announced today (including our current financing facilities) ensure that the business would be able to operate with no sales revenue for a period of c.2.5 years

· Business and employees well-positioned to restart development and sales activity swiftly and effectively once the market returns to normal

· In addition, more than 300 newly completed apartments in unoccupied developments have been offered to help Government and local authority care providers to address the acute shortage of beds for older people during this period . These apartments can be used to house older people as they recover from COVID-19 or NHS keyworkers


McCarthy & Stone (the 'Group'), the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities, today holds its Annual General Meeting and issues a business update setting out its overall response and intended cash optimisation measures in light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.  This is further to the update provided on 18 March 2020.  

Homeowner support  

While our homeowners live independently, we are able to provide them with significantly higher levels of help, support and guidance than if they lived alone. Our Retirement Living PLUS developments have teams on site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, while our Retirement Living developments have on-site support during the week and a dedicated out-of-hours helpline.  To assist with our response to COVID-19, we have also:

· Put in place strict hygiene practices across all developments.

· Asked homeowners to limit access to all but essential visitors and observe social distancing.

· Set-up a response operation to rapidly manage suspected COVID-19 cases to minimise risk to homeowners.

· Established regular two-way communication with homeowners to advise them on how to reduce the risk of infection, stay safe and prepare for self-isolation.

· Set up a Buddy system to identify a trusted friend or family member, or a member of our staff, who can help check in on residents and bring medical and food supplies, if needed.

· Engaged with Government to ensure front-line staff in retirement communities have access to sufficient personal protective equipment to enable them to carry out their important role in caring for older and vulnerable people.


Cash saving measures

While the Group is focused on supporting its homeowners, we are also in the process of implementing the following cash saving measures in light of the latest Government 'stay at home' directive: 

· All build activity is being safely paused across our entire development programme with the exception of certain specific sites which are close to completion. Current levels of inventory ensure that sales can resume with minimal delay once the situation improves.

· No further land spend will be incurred and contractually committed land spend has been reviewed and minimised where possible.

· All marketing activity has been paused.

· Reservations, rentals and completions can still be taken in cases of need, but on-site sales offices are now temporarily closed.

· All members of the Board and wider leadership team taking a voluntary 20% reduction in basic salary from 1 April until further notice.

· Employees impacted by the above actions will either be redeployed to support our homeowners or will qualify for support under the new Government Job Retention Scheme.

These immediate steps result in a cash saving of c.£230m in FY20 compared to the Board's pre-COVID-19 expectation.


Balance sheet and cash generation

· The Group has a strong balance sheet with a Tangible Net Asset Value at 28 February 2020 of c.£687m and gearing of 8%. 

· At the end of February, the main liquid assets on the Group's balance sheet were c.£350m of finished stock, a total portfolio of >£50m of rental and shared ownership assets (at attractive yields) and >£50m of part exchange assets.  Negotiations regarding the sale of our rental assets are ongoing and the Group is intending to utilise its strong asset base to generate further revenue or liquidity as necessary during this period of low sales activity. 

· The Group has no long-term debt and has already fully drawn on its £200m Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) resulting in an available cash balance of c.£127m as reported on 18 March 2020.

· The Board has already withdrawn Resolution 4 in relation to the final dividend payment of 3.5p per ordinary share (resulting in a cash saving of c.£19m).

· All cash measures announced today ensure that the business would be able to operate with no sales revenue for a period of c.2.5 years.


John Tonkiss, Chief Executive Officer, McCarthy and Stone said:

"These are unusual and difficult times. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Services colleagues who have gone above and beyond over the past couple of weeks. Despite the challenging conditions we all face, their dedication and professionalism in continuing to ensure the health and wellbeing of our residents across the country has been truly admirable.

"We continue to make every effort we can to reduce the risk of infection across our developments and have called upon Government to ensure that our front-line care staff have access to sufficient personal protective equipment to enable them to carry out their important role in caring for more  vulnerable people.  In addition, we have offered more than 300 of our newly built apartments to the Government to assist the NHS with their efforts to accommodate older people as they recover from COVID-19 or NHS keyworkers.

"As set out on 18 March, we are mindful of the significant impact of COVID-19 on trading in the coming months, so as a Board we feel it is imperative to take the right steps as soon as is practicable to ensure the long-term strength of the business. We have a strong balance sheet and are now focusing on conserving cash while balancing the long-terms needs of the business, ensuring that we are able to continue to address the chronic under-supply of suitable housing for older people."

A further update will be provided in due course.



For more information, please contact:

McCarthy & Stone, 01202 292480

Paul Teverson, Director of Communications

Marina Calero, IR Director


Powerscourt, 020 7250 1446 /

Justin Griffiths

Nick Dibden

Victoria Heslop


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. [1]   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



1 ONS population projections (2018)

2 YouGov research for McCarthy & Stone (2019)

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact or visit
Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.

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