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GCP Expects Bookings to Be Unchanged

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

GCP Student Living has reported an EPRA NAV per share of 175p, up 11% in the last 12 months, with growth in bookings for the next academic year in line with 2019-20.

Rental growth was recorded at 4.4%, whilst it achieved an LTV ratio of 19% and a net initial yield of 4.4%.

The company said in its outlook that "bookings for the forthcoming year are in line with 2019/20 and residents for the current academic year continue to occupy their rooms."

A spokesman added that unsurprisingly Chinese students are its biggest demographic, but it had seen no impact in terms of reduced bookings despite uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus.

They added: "Students are probably not being put off by the virus, they think come September they will be able to travel and come to the UK."

Commenting on the results, Robert Peto, Chairman, said: "The Company's focus on assets in and around London has delivered another interim period of strong NAV performance. This performance can be attributed to strong year-on-year student rental growth in excess of both inflation and the national average for student accommodation across a fully occupied portfolio of assets. The Company's annualised total shareholder return since its IPO in 2013 of 15.6% has substantially exceeded the 8-10% target at launch and is more than double the return of the FTSE All-Share Index over that period."

"The Company provides shareholders with access to a portfolio of private student accommodation assets in locations which continue to benefit from strong supply and demand imbalances resulting in full occupancy, rental growth and yield compression. The attraction of the UK, and London in particular, for domestic and global students alike remains evident. The UK has some of the highest-ranking universities in the world, with three of the top ten institutions in 2020. Furthermore, education remains a core sector for the UK economy, contributing £95 billion and supporting nearly one million jobs."

"The Board of GCP Student and the Investment Manager continue to monitor global events as they relate to student numbers, including relations between the US, the UK and China and are monitoring the potential impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak both in terms of the ability of students to attend their universities, and therefore occupy student rooms, and in terms of the wellbeing of the residents in the Company's buildings. The Board notes that, at the date of publication, bookings for the forthcoming academic year are in line with 2019/20 and residents for the current academic year continue to occupy their rooms. Student applications for full time higher education for the 2020/21 academic year have increased by 1.2% year-on-year."