Summerset Group, New Zealand's third-largest listed retirement village operator, more than doubled first-half profit as it boosted sales after opening four new villages in the second half of 2014.

Profit rose to $35.7 million in the six months ended June 30, from $15.3m a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement.

Revenue rose 29 per cent to $32.6m as sales of occupation rights jumped 38 per cent to a record 270.

Underlying profit, which excludes the impact of unrealised property valuation gains, increased 81 per cent to $17.1m in the first half, and the company reiterated it’s on track to post full-year profit on that basis of between $32m-$34m, up from $24.4m last year.

Summerset earnings growth is accelerating this year as it benefits from opening new villages in Karaka, Hobsonville and New Plymouth, and almost doubling the size of its Trentham village. The company said it’s on track to deliver 300 retirement units for 2015, and raised its target for 2016 and beyond to 400 units a year.

“A large contributor to the growth seen in this period relates to the four new villages opened in the second half of 2014,” said chief executive Julian Cook. “The company is well funded (and) has a good land bank in place for future growth.”

By Tina Morrison