St Marks Project Moves Forward
15th Feb 2019
GCP Student Living PLC, which focuses on investing in student accommodation in London, has reported a rise in its annual net asset value per share as its property portfolio valuation continues to grow.
In the 12 months ending June, GCP Student Living saw its portfolio increase in value to GBP 784.4 million from GBP 634.6 million. The increase was driven by full occupancy, rental growth and yield compression.
The company's net asset value, cumulative of income, per share rose by 7.2% to 149.12 pence from 139.08p.
Meanwhile, pre-tax profit more than doubled to GBP 61.1 million from GBP 23.5 million and rental income grew by 24% to GBP 35.8m.
The company has reported rental growth of 4.1%, ahead of the national average of 2.9%, whilst bookings for 2018-19 remain in line with expectations.
The increase in the company's dividend to 5.95p up from 5.75p has been attributed to the fifth consecutive year of full occupancy and year-on-year rental growth.
Commenting on the results, chairman Robert Peto said: "I am pleased to report another year of strong operational results for the Company. This year marks the fifth anniversary since the company's GBP70 million IPO as the UK's first REIT focused on student residential assets in May 2013. During that period, its EPRA NAV per share has grown from 97.00p to 149.12p and its annual dividend per share has grown from 5.5p to 5.95p. The company has delivered an annualised shareholder return since IPO of 12.5%, exceeding its target of 8% to 10% and almost double the return of the FTSE All-Share index over the same period."
"The company's ability to deliver its own pipeline through future contractual arrangements has been a key factor in its success since IPO. The company's current assets under development or refurbishment are well placed to provide potential rental and earnings growth, in addition to NAV growth prospects, over the short to medium term. In particular, the board is pleased to note that the refurbishment of Scape Bloomsbury, located in the heart of London WC1, will be complete in time for the 2018/19 academic year."
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