Pre-tax profits at the UK-based healthcare group backed by well known Irish investors Dermot Desmond, JP McManus and John Magnier last year declined by 23.5pc to £20.7m (€26.5m).
New accounts filed by Barchester Healthcare Ltd show that it recorded the drop in profits in spite of revenues increasing by 7pc to £495.4m in the 12 months to the end of December last. The figures show that a stock dividend of £111m was paid during the year and this was in the form of a waiver of inter-company indebtedness.
The improvement in revenues was driven primarily by a greater number of residents, with a greater number of available beds and higher occupancy, according to the directors' report. However, operating profits decreased by a quarter to £23.2m and the directors state that the improved revenue figure was primarily offset by an increase in external rental costs and increase in overheads.
Barchester is one of the top four providers in the long-term care sector in the UK and provides in excess of 11,700 beds with a portfolio of over 200 high quality care homes. The largest proportion of the homes are located in London and the South East and the remainder evenly spread throughout the UK.
The group's strategy is one of continued growth through the extension of existing facilities and also through the appropriate acquisitions of nursing homes of a suitable quality, according to the directors' report. The directors point out that the group is especially focused on the private pay market and also on residents with specialist care needs.