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Capital Markets Day and Trading Update – 09 October 2018

9 October 2018

Unite Students, the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation, is today hosting a Capital Markets Day for institutional investors and analysts in Bristol, which will include a trading update.


Against a backdrop of continued strong demand for high quality student accommodation, the Company continues to deliver sustainable earnings growth by focusing on enhancing its portfolio and market leading operating platform to deliver a superior student experience in partnership with universities where demand is strongest.

  • Market dynamics remain supportive
    • 98% let across our portfolio for the 2018/19 academic year
    • Full year rental growth in line with our 3.0-3.5% target
    • USAF and LSAF Q3 portfolio valuations up 1.1% and 1.6%
  • Exposure to high and mid-tier universities on track to reach 90% on completion of secured pipeline
  • Seven new student residences (3,074 beds) opened in September in Birmingham, Bristol, Durham (2 properties), Newcastle, Portsmouth and Sheffield. Beds are fully let to students attending high and mid-ranked universities and 52% of these beds are secured on nomination agreements with an average life of ten years
  • Disposal of 13 properties, comprising 3,436 beds, for £180.5 million (Unite share: £84.7 million) completed in September
  • Further progress on strategy to deliver ongoing growth through partnerships with Universities:
    • 60% of beds total beds now under nomination agreements
    • In active discussions with 10 plus universities following successful off-campus university partnerships in London and Oxford
  • Performance underpinned by investment in our market leading brand and operating platform:
    • Further improvements in customer satisfaction scores
    • Placer app now live, digital improvements are driving enhanced customer experience
    • On track to deliver full year efficiency targets of 75% NOI margin and 25-30bps overhead efficiency
    • Full year EBIT margin expected to be around 70% (2017: 68%) and new target established at 74% by 2021
  • £275 million 10-year unsecured bond issued at a rate of 3.5%

Capital Markets Day

Today’s event will include an update on progress made in the implementation of the Group’s strategy, focusing on the property portfolio, university partnerships and service platform.

The presentation will commence at 9.30am and be followed by a question and answer session, which will conclude at around 12:00pm. Guests will then have the opportunity to visit Brunel House, a new 246-bed development which opened last month in the heart of Bristol. Slides from the presentation will be available on the Unite Group website.

Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said:

“It’s great to see the momentum we achieved at the half year continuing. The supportive market dynamics are underpinned by a portfolio focused on universities where demand is strongest and our growing university partnerships. We have delivered on our efficiency targets in 2018. Going forward, we expect to deliver further efficiency gains, primarily through growing the scale of the portfolio under management.”

For further information, please contact:
Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 117 302 7005

Candice Macdonald, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 7525 592521

Powerscourt, PR adviser to Unite
Justin Griffiths, Alison Watson or Mazar Masud
Tel: +44 207 250 1446