McCarthy & Stone unveils cost cutting drive as new CEO takes the reins

John Tonkiss

Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone has appointed John Tonkiss as its new chief executive officer to lead a major cost cutting strategy at the business.

Formally chief operating officer at the firm, John Tonkiss has been interim CEO of McCarthy & Stone since Clive Fenton’s retirement on August 31 and will formally take the helm today.

Tonkiss, who will now spearhead a shift in strategy at the group which has suffered a slowdown in sales, said that it would look to make cost savings of more than £40 million per year by 2021.

Announcing the new strategy, he said: “We are positioning the business to succeed in the current challenging market environment and over the next three years, we will be focusing on increasing shareholder returns by optimising our operations to deliver strong financial performance.

“In parallel, we will also aim to leverage our longer term strategic opportunity to increase our customer appeal, diversify our revenue streams and reduce our exposure to the market cyclicality.

“As the market leader in the retirement sector, we need to set the vision for what retirement living should become.

“We are more than just a housebuilder, as we create retirement communities that enrich the quality of life of our customers and their families.

“I believe that our new strategy will further build upon the strong fundamentals in the business, which include an expected 88% increase in the number of people aged 85 and over by 2037, our significant share of the owner-occupied retirement market, and our industry-leading levels of customer service and build quality.”

Paul Lester, chairman of the group, said both internal and external candidates were considered for the role.

He said: “Following a full search and selection process, I am pleased to confirm that John will become CEO of McCarthy & Stone. John brings strong financial and operational expertise resulting from his four years at McCarthy & Stone where he was chief operating officer and his ten years at Unite Students, where he held the same role.

“John has led the development of our strategic plan that will establish a strong financial platform for the business and which will be launched today. I look forward to working with John and the rest of the senior management team to deliver this new strategy and to creating more retirement communities that enrich the quality of life of our customers and their families.”

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