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Assisted living, a growing demand

06 February, Milano Finanza

There are many reasons to think that assisted living facilities for elderly people have a good growth potential, also from a real estate point of view. One obvious reason is that the Italian population is ageing, while the bed availability is one of the lowest in Europe. According to the OECD, in Italy, there are 18.9 people every thousand aged over 65 years, while in Germany these are 53.1, in Great Britain 49.2, and in 72.1 in Belgium. “On top of this, the economic situation of the public health service is pushing towards a reduction of beds”, notes Massimo Blasoni, founder and shareholder of the holding Sereni Orizzonti. Bottom line, the demand is growing. It’s not by change that Sereni Orizzonti, established in Udine in 1996, is growing quickly and it has become the third group in terms of number of beds in Italy (there are actual 4,500 beds in 70 active facilities in 10 regions) and one of the most dynamic in its sector, operating in the planning and implementation of assisted living facilities for elderly people, as well as in their management. “We’ve been growing in a very complex context due to the bureaucracy and the regulation that varies depending on the region”, stresses Blasoni. “Even in this context, we’re still betting in the free market also for the next three years. We plan, in fact, investments for 150 million that will make possible opening 30 new facilities and reaching our objective of 7 thousand beds”.

After having reported in 2017 earnings for 120 million and profits for 10 million, growing by 25% and confirming the growth trends of the last few years, the group has just opened three new facilities in Pasian di Prato (UD), Piacenza, and Torre di Mosto (VE), while the construction sites have been launched in San Mauro Torinese, Marcon (VE), Rodano (MI), Macomer (NU), Genoa, Milan, Sanluri (VS), and Fiesco (CR), while others are programmed for 2018-2019. “Constructing assisted living facilities makes sense from a real estate point of view”, explains Blasoni, “since the segment gives better margins than the residential. Besides, we’ve built very solid partnerships with several property funds to whom we give the property once completed, giving new oxygen to our finances. We manage the properties with a perspective of immediate, safe and long-term earnings, thanks to the characteristics of the assisted living segment”. Sereni Orizzonti applies this model to 50% of its properties. However, the expansion plans include also other business segments. “We are looking with interest at the French and German markets, where private pensions are more common and make it easier to afford a bed in a private structure”, continues Blasoni. “Whereas in Italy, we’d love to be the first inaugurating the retail of beds which already exists in many countries abroad. Basically, a private could buy a bed and rent it to a third party”.

Source: Milano Finanza

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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