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Unite Releases Its Latest Trading Update

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Unite Group is today hosting its Capital Markets Day for institutional investors and analysts in Bristol.

The group said its portfolio is 98% let for the 2018-19 academic year, with full rental growth in line with the company's target of 3.0-3.5%.

Management said market dynamics remain supportive, whilst the company is on track to increase its exposure to high and mid-tier universities to 90%.

In total, 60% of its beds are now under nomination agreements and the company is in active discussions with more than 10 universities following successful off-campus university partnerships in London and Oxford.

Unite has opened seven new residences with schemes in Birmingham, Bristol, Durham, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Sheffield.

In addition, the company has announced the pricing of a debut senior unsecured bond in an aggregate principal amount of £275 million for a term of 10 years. The bond will bear an interest rate of 3.5% per annum, with rating agencies S&P and Moody's expected to assign a rating of BBB and Baa2 respectively.

The bond issuance forms part of the company's financial strategy to further diversify its sources of funding, extend its debt maturity profile and move more of its funding to an unsecured basis.

The funds raised from the bond will be used for general corporate purposes and to fund the company's development pipeline.