Occupancy rates and fees increase at Four Seasons Healthcare

Q3 financial results

The Care Home Division of Four Seasons Healthcare has seen occupancy increase during its third quarter of 2015. It is the first quarterly increase for 12 months, the company said in a financial statement released today.

Admissions for the year-to-date are up 3.4%, while deaths and discharges rose 7% over the same period, due to a higher level of deaths in the first quarter’s winter months.

The group’s occupancy rate has increased 5% since Q3 2014, due mainly to the closure of underperforming units, and by 1.4% compared to the prior quarter

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Average weekly fees have seen a year-on-year increase of over 3% in the Care Home Group as the businesses improve resident/patient mix.

But the focus on improving the quality of care has hurt profitability, with quarterly pre-tax profit in Q3 2015 falling to £43.8m; £7.7 million lower than to the same quarter in 2014.

Overall, to date in 2015, average weekly fee increases are broadly in line with 2014 except for Scotland where a 3.8% increase has been agreed. English Local Authority fee settlements are expected to be above that achieved in 2014 but are still below the statutory 3% increase in National Minimum Wage, the company said in a presentation accompanying the results.

Q3 financial results_occupancy

“To date we have received offers from almost 90% of English Local Authorities and accepted about 60%, at an average 2% uplift,” the statement continued. “The 3.8% Scottish fee rate settlement was agreed in conjunction with a pay rate condition for carers.”

Operationally, the group says that development is continuing at three sites: the rebuild of Park Lodge in Wimbledon, an 8 bed extension at La Haule Care Home in Jersey and a 23 bed new build at Frenchay.

The brighterkind refurbishment programme is progressing, with 26 projects either completed or being executed.

“During 2016 we expect to spend over £10m on a combination of developments and refurbishments. The developments are in construction and are therefore committed whilst a large element of the refurbishment spend is still to be committed and can therefore be phased as appropriate. We expect the development and refurbishment capital spend programme to be offset by disposals during the course of 2015 and into 2016,” the company said.

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