McCarthy & Stone announces Paul Lester to its Board as upcoming Non-Executive Director and Chairman designate

– UK, Bournemouth – McCarthy & Stone PLC (LSE:MCS) announced the appointment of Paul Lester CBE as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman designate. He will join the Board on 3 January 2018 and will succeed John White as Chairman, who has advised the Board of his intention to retire following the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 25 January 2018. John has been Chairman of the Company since September 2013.

Paul is currently Chairman of Essentra PLC and Forterra PLC and was formerly a director of Invensys PLC. Previously, he was Group Managing Director of Balfour Beatty PLC before becoming Chief Executive of support services company VT Group PLC in 2002. Paul was also Chairman of John Laing Infrastructure Fund until September this year.

Commenting on the appointment, John White, Chairman, said: “We are very pleased that Paul will be joining the McCarthy & Stone Board and succeeding me as Chairman. McCarthy & Stone is a great business and I am proud to have served on the Board during a transformational period for the Company, culminating in its successful IPO in 2015. While market uncertainty following recent political events has acted as a stern test for our business model, I am pleased that our high-quality product and excellent team led by Clive Fenton have proved McCarthy & Stone’s resilience. The Company remains uniquely-placed to capitalise on the substantial growth opportunity in retirement housing, driven by a rapidly ageing population in the UK, and the team can look to the future with confidence. I am pleased to be handing over to someone of Paul’s standing and experience and I am certain that he will make a major contribution to McCarthy & Stone.”

Commenting on his appointment, Paul Lester said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of the UK’s leading retirement homebuilder. This is a very exciting time for McCarthy & Stone and I look forward to supporting Clive Fenton and his team in developing the Company’s strategy and performance still further.”

Clive Fenton, Chief Executive Officer added: “I would like to thank John for his immense contribution to McCarthy & Stone’s success during his tenure. John played an integral role in overseeing the Company’s restructuring and its return to the public market and leaves with the business in a very strong position, both operationally and financially. I am also delighted that Paul has agreed to Chair our Board through our next phase of growth and look forward to working with him.”

The Board considers that there is no conflict of interest arising from Paul Lester’s current position as Chairman of Forterra PLC due to the fact that direct business between Forterra and McCarthy & Stone is of a de minimis nature. The Board will adopt appropriate procedures to deal with any conflict which may arise. There are no other items requiring disclosure under paragraph 9.6.13 of the Listing Rules.

About McCarthy & Stone

McCarthy & Stone is the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder with a c.70% share of the owner-occupied market. The Group has sold over 54,000 properties across c.1,200 retirement developments since 1977 and is renowned for its focus on the needs of those in later life. It re-joined the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in November 2015 and re-entered the FTSE 250 following its quarterly review on 21 March 2016.

There is a growing need for retirement housing. There are currently 12 million people aged 65 or over, rising to 18.2m by 2037, representing a 52% increase. For those aged 85 or over, the increase will be larger, from 1.6m to 3.7m, representing a 131% increase. According to research by Demos, one in four over 60s are interested in retirement living, yet only c.157,000 units of specialist retirement housing for homeowners have been built.

The Group has two established product ranges – Retirement Living and Retirement Living Plus (formerly known as Assisted Living) – which provide mainly one and two bedroom apartments across the country with varying levels of support and care for older homeowners. In late 2014, McCarthy & Stone launched its Lifestyle Living (formerly Ortus Homes) product, which is exclusively for the over 55s and those in the earlier stages of retirement who are seeking to downsize for their leisure years.

The first Lifestyle Living development at Scarlet Oak in Solihull won the Best Retirement Scheme at the annual Housebuilder Awards in November 2015. At the same awards in November 2016, we were pleased to again receive Best Retirement Scheme for Ramsay Grange and Lyle Court, our combined Retirement Living Plus and Lifestyle Living development in Barnton, Edinburgh, as well as Best Customer Satisfaction Initiative for our approach to ensuring that we deliver a Five Star service for our homeowners.

The Group was also pleased to win 15 awards at the 2017 NHBC Pride in the Job awards and seven Seals of Excellence, marking a 50% increase in awards from 2016. The scheme is dedicated to recognising construction site managers who achieve the highest standards in housebuilding and has been instrumental in driving up standards in the sector for 37 years.
McCarthy & Stone’s commitment to quality and customer service continues to be recognised by homeowners. In March 2017, the Group received the full Five Star rating for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation for the twelfth consecutive year – making it the only UK housebuilder, of any size or type, to achieve this accolade.

All developments built since 2010 are managed by the company’s in-house management services team, providing peace of mind that it will look after customers and their properties over the long term. This is a key part of how McCarthy & Stone seeks to enrich its customers’ lives. McCarthy & Stone Management Services (MSMS) provides management services in Retirement Living and Lifestyle Living developments. YourLife Management Services (YLMS), which is owned 50/50 by MSMS and Somerset Care Group, a leading not-for-profit care provider, provides management services, domestic assistance, catering, personal care and additional support in Retirement Living Plus developments, and each development is run by an Estate Manager and a team of staff delivering services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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