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Full year results for the year to 31 December 2014 – 23 February 2015

8 November 2016

The Unite Group plc, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, announces its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2014.


Recurring profits up 44% and dividend increased 133%

  • EPRA earnings of £33.3 million (17.2 pence per share), up 44% on a recurring basis (2013: £23.1 million, 13.6 pence per share) and 9% overall (2013: £30.6 million, 18.0 pence per share)
  • EPRA EPS yield on NAV of 4.5% in 2014 (2013: 3.9%), a year ahead of plan
  • EPRA NAV per share up 13.6% to 434 pence (2013: 382 pence), equating to a total return on equity (NAV growth plus dividends paid) of 15.0%
  • Final dividend of 9.0 pence per share (2013: 3.2 pence), making 11.2 pence for the full year (2013: 4.8 pence) and an increased payout ratio of 65% (2013: 35%)
  • Like-for-like rental growth of 3.3% for the full year (2013: 3.0%)

Highly visible earnings growth prospects supported by high quality development programme, positive rental growth outlook, strong brand and scalable operating platform

  • Rental growth and secured development pipeline, offset by disposals, could add 15 to 20 pence to EPRA earnings per share over the next four years
  • Fully funded regional development pipeline comprising 4,400 bed spaces on track for delivery over the next three years with potential to add 37 pence per share to NAV
  • LSAV London development pipeline of 2,320 beds on track for delivery in 2015 and 2016 (Unite share 50%) with potential to add 10 pence per share to NAV

Market dynamics remain positive and reservations performance strong

  • Reservations for 2015/16 at 65% (2013: 62%) with pricing levels supportive of sustained rental growth in the year ahead
  • Removal of student number cap from September 2015 encouraging many Universities to target significant increases in enrolments, supported by healthy UCAS application levels
  • Average portfolio yield of 6.3% showing modest compression of 15bps, on a like-for-like basis, during 2014. Investment market activity suggests further yield compression to come in 2015

Mark Allan, Chief Executive of Unite Group, commented:

“Over the past few years we have made some important strategic decisions about the shape and direction of the business and our strong results for 2014 demonstrate how we continue to deliver against these plans. With recurring profits up over 40% and a highly visible growth trajectory from here we are pleased to announce a step change in our dividend, which has more than doubled year on year. Our dividend now represents a 65% payout ratio and it should continue to grow significantly in the coming years.

“Market conditions remain supportive. Student numbers continue to grow steadily, interest rates are still low, development costs remain attractive and the investment market continues to strengthen. We are alert to the risks of rising interest rates, development cost inflation and the uncertainty of an impending General Election but are managing the business in a disciplined way and continue to look forward with confidence.”