Australian Unity Group tops $1 billion in revenue

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In its results for the financial year ending 30 June 2011, the financial services, healthcare and retirement living company Australian Unity Limited has reported annual revenue of $1 billion for the first time.

In its results for the financial year ending 30 June 2011, the financial services, healthcare and retirement living company Australian Unity Limited has reported annual revenue of $1 billion for the first time.

The company also reported a 34 percent increase in operating earnings to $31.7 million, and a 50 percent increase in profit after tax to $25.6 million over the previous year.

Australian Unity is a mutual public company that provides services nationally that address three of the most significant challenges facing Australia: an ageing population, growing healthcare needs and retirement savings.

Group managing director Rohan Mead said that Australian Unity has now built a substantial operating base capable of attracting a wider range of opportunities to add to the quality and range of services it already provides, and that he is very optimistic about the growth prospects for the company.

“While financial market uncertainty slowed company growth recently, we were able to balance this with positive growth in other areas of the company, including in both our retail (Australian Unity) and smaller corporate (GU Health) health insurance funds,” Mr Mead said.

“The two health funds achieved growth during the year of 6.9 percent and 18.9 percent respectively – well above the industry average of 3.2 percent.

“The results indicate the strength of our health funds’ approach, which is to continuously evolve to meet the changing needs of Australian communities, particularly the fast rising challenge of chronic disease.

“For example, our Remedy Healthcare business now provides life-changing chronic disease management programs for thousands of members, and has achieved demonstrable results in both a reduction in hospital admissions for participants in our programs and financial savings for the fund.”

Mr Mead said that in Australian Unity’s Retirement Living business, the company has expanded its care provision for residents of its 16 retirement communities.

“Our retirement villages are also increasingly providing services to older Australians who remain in their family homes.

“This has been part of our strategy for our Retirement Living business. Our villages can operate as an important hub in their local community given the substantial resources and staff which they incorporate, providing integrated care and accommodation services for their own residents and into surrounding areas,” he said.

Australian Unity plans to continue to extend its retirement operations on a number of fronts. During the year the company launched a Retirement Village Property Fund for institutional investors and it is currently negotiating to purchase two villages together comprising more than 200 units. The villages will be operated by Australian Unity Retirement Living, while the fund will be managed by Australian Unity Investments.

Mr Mead said that Australian Unity Investments, the funds management business, continued to demonstrate resilience in the wake of the global financial crisis, with an increase in funds under management to $11.9 billion (2010: $10.3 billion). Of particular note is the extension of commercial property activities to some $2 billion to date.

“Our Personal Financial Services business has proved itself to be one of the fastest growing financial advisory licensees in Australia, with a 76 percent increase in funds under advice to more than $1 billion.”

Mr Mead said the company’s mutual structure enabled it to focus on its objective to provide needed social infrastructure and support to Australians, while operating under the discipline of a commercial enterprise. This year, the company issued $120 million in Australian Unity Notes, seeking an additional and longer dated capital source for the company’s growth objectives. The Notes were issued in April for a term of 5 years and are quoted on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Australian Unity is a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation providing services to more than 560,000 Australians, including some 285,000 members nationwide. It employs around 1,500 staff nationally and has a history dating back to 1840. Its business approach can be summed up as developing and providing health, financial and lifestyle services that make a difference to the wellbeing of members, customers, employees and communities.

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Media enquiries: Sarah Kulman, Public Affairs Adviser Australian Unity on 0400 006 295 or Jim Pritchitt on 0418 456 453.

8 September 2011