Unite Group plc has reported an increase in EPRA earnings for the first six months of the year of 22% to £36.1m. EPRA earnings per share were up 15% to 16.3 pence, whilst its dividend increased 9% to 6.0 pence per share.
IFRS profit after tax was reported at £106.7m compared to £208.3m reported during the same period a year earlier. This was due to lower level of yield compression than in 2015.
The group has continued to strengthen its University relationships with 71% of new openings and 75% of all rooms let through University agreements, underpinning future income.
The group has added 2,100 beds to its pipeline for delivery in 2018 and 2019, which will help support future earnings growth and the group expects that student numbers will reach record numbers again during the 2016-17 academic year.
As at July 25th the company was able to reserve 89% of rooms, with rental growth level in line with last year. Rental growth is expected in the next academic year of between 3-4%.
Chief executive Richard Smith commented on the latest results saying: "The demand:supply outlook for student accommodation remains favourable and our earnings trajectory is underpinned by our efficiencies of scale and a high quality development pipeline, focused on cluster flat accommodation with a lower price point, where the rental growth outlook is strongest".