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Vital Healthcare distributable profit rises 44% as building projects lift income

Vital Healthcare, which invests in medical and healthcare properties, lifted distributable profit by 44 percent after completing three add-on building projects at existing Australian sites, boosting rental income.

Distributable profit, the earnings measure it uses for distributions to unit holders, rose to $13.9 million in the six months ended December 31, from $9.6 million a year earlier.

Net property income rose 22 percent to $28.3 million, beating Forsyth Barr's estimate of $26.6 million. Net profit rose 180 percent to $14.6 million including unrealised interest rate swap gains.

Vital completed expansions at the Currumbin Clinic on the Gold Coast, Melbourne's South Eastern Private Hospital and Newcastle's Toronto Private Hospital and acquired Adelaide-based Sportsmed SA in the first half. Developments added $2.3 million to gross rental income and acquisitions added $1.6 million, while it gained $800,000 via rent reviews.

The company will make a second-quarter distribution of 1.925 cents a unit on March 28, with a record date of March 14, bringing the first-half payment to 3.85 cents. It affirmed its full-year guidance of 7.7 cents to 7.9 cents a unit.

The value of Vital's portfolio rose 9.8 percent to $623 million and the weighted average lease term, or WALT, rose to 12.1 years from 11.4 years.

Units of Vital Healthcare were unchanged at $1.27.

(BusinessDesk)

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