Southern Cross Healthcare Group confirmed that it is firmly on the acquisitions trail as it posted a 42% rise in first-half adjusted earnings on the back of rapid expansion. The Independent, The Times. Financial Times

Britain’s biggest care home operator has about 7% of the UK elderly care market, which is estimated to be worth £11.8bn a year.

Philip Scott, chief executive, said opportunities for growth through acquisition were plentiful as rising commercial property values and tighter regulations encourage smaller operators to sell.

Following the purchase of 10 homes announced with the results yesterday, the group operates 652 homes and 33,031 beds, a 14% increase on the previous year.

Southern Cross has several acquisitions without additional equity investment by using a sale-and-leaseback structure.