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McCarthy & Stone PLC (MCS)

McCarthy & Stone PLC

COVID-19 Business Update
RNS Number : 6060O
McCarthy & Stone PLC
02 June 2020
 

 

McCarthy & Stone plc

COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE

 

· Lower impact of Covid-19 within the Group's retirement communities, than the general over 65 population

· Phased re-mobilisation plans - sales and build activities reopening from 8 June

· £300m Covid Corporate Financing Facility ('CCFF') funding secured

· HY20 results announcement will be on 15 July 2020

· Group thanks its employees and homeowners for their support and resilience during this period

 

McCarthy & Stone (the 'Group'), the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities, today issues a further update on the impact of Covid-19 on the business, following its statement on 25 March 2020.

Lower impact of Covid-19 within its communities

The Group took several decisive actions from mid-March onwards to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of its homeowners and staff with a full list of measures outlined in the AGM and business update statement issued on 25 March 2020.

As a result, the Group has seen fewer cases of Covid-19 within its 441 retirement communities, than has been seen within the general over 65s UK population.  The unique nature of its communities, which provide independent living in private apartments with a tailored level of care and support, means the Group's homeowners have been safer and more supported than if they had been living alone during this period.  

Phased remobilisation

Throughout the duration of the Government's lockdown, the Group's sales offices and construction sites have been closed.

Following the easing of some restrictions by the Government, the Group has taken a gradual and measured approach to re-mobilisation of both sales and build, which are scheduled to commence in phases from 8 June.

The Group is putting the health and safety of its customers, who are potentially more vulnerable to Covid-19 given their age, and employees at the centre of its planning process. The Group has conducted a full and detailed review of sales and construction processes and developed a new set of guidelines and protocols for working practices to meet and enhance the Government's guidelines.

The Group's initial focus is on restarting sales activities on its already completed developments, as the Group currently has c.1,350 units (c.£325m - measured at cost) of available finished stock. Its sales offices have been reconfigured to ensure that strict social distancing measures are adhered to using an appointment-based visiting system.

Build activities will restart gradually, commencing with the reopening of sites that are closest to completion, with a new set of operating procedures in place that will help to ensure the safety of the Group's staff and supply chain by implementing extended working hours and safe site working practices.  

Financial position  

The Group is pleased to announce that it has secured access to the HM Treasury and Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility ('CCFF') and has put in place a £300m commercial paper programme under this scheme. The facility will be used to provide additional liquidity should it be required.

The Group continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and, as at 30 April, its available cash balance was c.£146m (after drawdown of its £200m Revolving Credit Facility).

Half year results announcement

The Group will announce its HY20 results for the six months ended 30 April 2020 on 15 July.

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

"We have seen a lower impact of Coronavirus in our developments, than the general over 65 population, and this proves more than ever that our communities are safe, resilient and supportive places to live.

"By providing independent apartments with the right level of on-site care and assistance, retirement communities are an effective 'Third Way' to the current options of remaining in a family home or moving into residential care. The UK must now learn the lessons from this crisis and redefine how best to support our ageing population. We need a joined-up and long-term plan, starting with more and better housing for older people.  

"I'd also like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to every one of our homeowners and our employees for their continued support, understanding and co-operation in following our guidance and advice during this period, and helping to keep our people safe and well. It's been a difficult period, but there's nothing like a crisis to show what we're made of, and what we've shown is that our communities are made of much more than bricks and mortar."

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

McCarthy & Stone, 01202 292480

Paul Teverson, Director of Communications

Marina Calero, IR Director, 07770956122 / marina.calero@mccarthyandstone.co.uk

 

Powerscourt, 020 7250 1446 / mccarthy-stone@powerscourt-group.com

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 www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk

 

 

 

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 rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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