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Empiric Reports Drop in Bookings

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Empiric Student Property plc has released a further trading update, highlighting that 55% of the group's student accommodation continues to be occupied by residents.

Despite the nationwide lockdown, the company is still receiving bookings for the 2020-21 academic year, with 47% of rooms now reserved, compared to 54% at the same time last year.

The group has indicated that demand from international students is continuing but at lower levels, whilst the number of bookings from UK students has started to increase. The business is also seeing an increase in requests for self-contained studios and en-suite accommodation as a result of the social distancing measures in place in the UK. Empiric's strategy of owning and managing premium student accommodation means it is well position to meet this demand, with 83% of its stock meeting these requirements.

Elsewhere, the group is looking to deliver a new in-house revenue management platform, which is on track to launch in November 2020. The platform is anticipated to generate annual cost reductions of c.£1.5 million from Q4 2021, removing the reliance of a third-party legacy platform.

The group is pressing ahead with the delivery of its development at New Walk in Leicester, which is expected to complete later this month, in time for the 2020-21 academic year. However, additional developments will be deferred.