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Sienna Senior Living Inc. Provides Business Update and Announces Addition to its Board of Directors

MARKHAM, Ontario, Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sienna Senior Living Inc. (“Sienna” or the “Company”) (TSX: SIA) today provided an update on its operations and announced the appointment of Paul Boniferro to its Board of Directors.

Operations Update

In recent weeks, the Omicron variant has impacted Canadians from coast to coast and further highlighted the challenges faced by the healthcare sector across the country.

“At Sienna, we have 12,000 dedicated team members with the skills and expertise necessary to care for residents and keep our communities safe, and thanks to the high rates of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses among residents, the severity of the virus has been significantly reduced,” said Nitin Jain, President and CEO of Sienna. “Our strong response to this wave continues to be guided by our team, experts and on-going partnerships with local public health and other agencies.”

  • COVID-19/Omicron Update - As of January 7, 2022, 40 of Sienna’s 83 owned or managed residences are in outbreak, with active cases of COVID-19 at 32 long-term care and 8 retirement residences. Of these residences, 23 residences have five or less active COVID-19 cases among its residents, including 10 residences with no active COVID-19 cases. An outbreak is defined as two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 at a residence.

    Supported by the added protection of booster shots, the majority of residents’ and team members’ symptoms with respect to the new Omicron variant appear to be mild or moderate. Sienna continues to have stringent precautions in place to manage the impact of Omicron at its residences.
  • Vaccinations – Approximately 90% of Sienna’s residents and approximately 42% of Sienna’s team members have received their booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the most recent data available. In addition, the roll-out of fourth vaccine doses has commenced for eligible residents at Sienna’s long-term care residences and Sienna’s vaccination task force is supporting the efforts to get third and fourth doses of the vaccine to team members and residents as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Staffing – The Company is actively managing staffing pressures as a result of an increased number of team members being required to self-isolate due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. As a result, Sienna anticipates elevated agency staffing needs and continued cost pressures from higher agency labour costs. The Company continues to receive support from government funding in relation to incremental pandemic-related costs.

Retirement Occupancy Gains

Sienna’s sales and marketing efforts continued their momentum in recent months, resulting in high lead generation and sustained occupancy increases with same property average occupancy reaching 85.3% in December 2021, its highest level in nearly two years. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, average same property occupancy levels improved each month and rent collection levels remained high.

Retirement same property occupancy (average)      83.1%84.0%84.4% 85.3%
Retirement rent collection      99.0%99.2%99.0% 98.7%

Current access restrictions, including the pause on in-person tours, and higher staffing costs as a result of the Omicron variant, are anticipated to impact the Company’s net operating income from its retirement operations.

Strong Financial Position and Liquidity

The Company maintained a strong financial position and high liquidity of $236 million as at January 7, 2022, representing an increase of $19 million from $217 million as at December 31, 2020.

Appointment of Paul Boniferro to Sienna’s Board of Directors

Sienna is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Paul Boniferro to its Board of Directors, effective February 1, 2022.

Mr. Boniferro is a trusted and respected leader who will bring his extensive private and public service experience to the Sienna Board. A labour and employment lawyer, Mr. Boniferro was the National Leader of People and Practices at McCarthy Tétrault, where he practiced for more than 22 years. After extensive experience advising governments as legal counsel, Mr. Boniferro served for two years as Ontario’s Deputy Attorney General and as the Senior Crown Law Advisor to the Ontario Government.

“Paul’s broad private and public sector service and leadership experience, combined with his insights from his work in government and the long-term care sector will support Sienna’s mission to help Canadian seniors age with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Dino Chiesa, Chair of Sienna’s Board of Directors.

“We are excited about Paul joining our Board of Directors. His labour, talent management and leadership experience will add immense value to Sienna’s operations, including our team of approximately 12,000 dedicated employees,” added Nitin Jain, President and CEO of Sienna.

About Sienna Senior Living

Sienna Senior Living Inc. (TSX:SIA) offers a full range of seniors’ living options, including independent living, assisted living, long-term care, and specialized programs and services. Sienna’s approximately 12,000 employees are passionate about helping residents live fully every day. For more information, please visit www.siennaliving.ca.

Non-IFRS Measures

Included in this news release are references to the term “net operating income”, which does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and therefore may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures by other issuers. “Net operating income” is utilized by the Company as a business performance measure, and is defined by the Company as property revenue and government assistance related to the pandemic net of property operating expenses. Net operating income should not be construed as an alternative to net income determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of the Company’s performance.

Forward-Looking Information

Certain of the statements contained in this news release are forward-looking statements and are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements generally use forward-looking words, such as “anticipate”, “continue”, “could”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “estimate”, “believe”, “goals” or other similar words and include, without limitation, statements with respect to the vaccination roll-out and its impact on operations, the impact of the Omicron variant on retirement occupancy and net operating income, and the appointment of Mr. Paul Boniferro to the Company’s Board of Directors. These statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and, accordingly, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in the Company’s current Annual Information Form and Q3 2021 Report to Shareholders. The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on information currently available and what management currently believes are reasonable assumptions. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as may be required by applicable law.

For further information, please contact:

Karen Hon
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President
(905) 489-0254
[email protected]

Nancy Webb
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Marketing
(905) 489-0788
[email protected]