RETIREMENT housing giant McCarthy & Stone is expecting profits to fall by around a quarter, while its competitor Churchill Retirement has also seen a dip.

Bournemouth-headquartered McCarthy & Stone said it had a “tough year” in the 12 months ended on August 31.

Profits were likely to come in at £65million-£73m, compared with £96m the year before, it said, although revenue rose from £661m to £670m.

Meanwhile, Ringwood-based Churchill Retirement revealed revenue was up 5.9 per cent to £188.4m for the year ended June 30, but adjusted profit before tax dipped to £53.2m from £54.9m the previous year.

McCarthy & Stone, which has around 70 per cent of the owner-occupied retirement housing market, saw sales completions fall from 2,302 units to 2,134. Churchill Retirement’s sales dropped 1.1 per cent from 527 to 521.

John Tonkiss, McCarthy & Stone’s interim chief executive, said: “It has been a tough year for the group, with ongoing adverse market conditions continuing to impact the business, and without the benefit of additional government support for the retirement housing sector.

“In light of the continuing challenging market conditions, the group began a review of its strategy in April. As previously announced, our strategic focus will be on pursuing a more measured trajectory and smoothing our workflow to create a more efficient business.”He added: “This will naturally lead to a right-sizing of our cost base, with build cost savings being a key area of focus.”

Churchill Retirement – run by Spencer and Clinton McCarthy, sons of McCarthy & Stone’s co-founder – said its results reflected “a year of progress in a challenging market”.

Chairman and chief executive Spencer McCarthy said: “Against a challenging backdrop of changing government policy, continued economic uncertainty and the shadow of Brexit, Churchill has stuck to its principles and delivered another year of measured progress. As in the previous year, our strong financial position, disciplined approach towards land buying and sales, and experienced management team enabled us to show considerable flexibility in responding to a difficult market.“Our average selling price slightly increased during the year, but continued caution from our customers had an adverse effect on our enquiries, reservations and ultimately sales. Despite this, we maintained our market leading quality and customer satisfaction levels, and maintained strong momentum with new site starts and site launches achieved.”