Summerset Group, New Zealand's third-largest listed retirement village operator, posted a 10 per cent gain in annual earnings and said it expects benefits from last year's fast rate of expansion to help lift earnings growth this year.

The Wellington-based company said underlying earnings, which exclude unrealised property valuation gains, increased to $24.4 million in calendar 2014, from $22.2 million in 2013. Summerset expects earnings growth to accelerate this year as the front-loaded costs last year of opening new villages in Karaka, Hobsonville and New Plymouth and new…