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Results for the year ended 31 December 2022 – 28 February 2023

28 February 2023


Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, commented:

“We delivered a strong operational performance in 2022, with earnings and dividends surpassing their pre-pandemic level, driven by a return to full occupancy, improving rental growth and investment into our estate.

“The outlook for the business and the UK Higher Education sector is strong with demand underpinned by demographic growth, high application rates and increasing international student numbers. PBSA supply cannot keep pace with growing student demand at the same time as HMO landlords are leaving the sector.

“We are confident that new development opportunities will emerge over the next 12 months, which we remain uniquely positioned to deliver through our university relationships and development capability. Our strong leasing performance also supports earnings growth in 2023 despite higher interest and operating costs.

We recognise the cost-of-living pressures being faced by students and parents and are confident that our fixed price all-inclusive offer, student support programmes and balanced approach to rental increases will continue to provide value for money.”

Year ended 31 December 2022 31 December 2021 Change
Adjusted earnings1,3 £163.4m £110.1m 48%
Adjusted EPS1,3 40.9p 27.6p 48%
IFRS profit before tax £358.0m £343.1m 4%
IFRS basic EPS 88.9p 85.9p 3%
Dividend per share 32.7p 22.1p 48%
Total accounting return1 8.1% 10.2%
As at 31 December 2022 31 December 2021 Change
EPRA NTA per share1 927p 882p 5%
IFRS net assets per share 945p 880p 7%
See-through net debt2 £1,734m £1,522m 14%
Loan to value2 31% 29% 2ppts



Return to full occupancy in 2022/23, strong demand for 2023/24

  • 99% occupancy and 3.5% rental growth for the 2022/23 academic year (2021/22: 94% and 2.3%)
  • 83% reserved for 2023/24, driven by rebooking and new university agreements (2022/23: 67%)

Best-in-class operating platform supports continued earnings growth in 2023

  • Targeting 6-7% rental growth for 2023/24, supporting EBIT margin of 70% in 2023 (2022: 67.9%)
  • Interest rates 97% hedged, resulting in an expected 3.6% cost of debt in 2023 (2022: 3.4%)
  • Guidance for 5-8% growth in adjusted EPS in 2023 to 43-44p
  • Anticipating a total accounting return of 8-10% in 2023, before the impact of yield movements

Successful project deliveries in 2022, four committed developments for delivery in 2023-2026

  • Completion of £229 million of university partnership developments, fully let at a 6.0% yield on cost
  • Rental portfolio enhanced through £46 million of refurbishments at a 6.9% yield on cost
  • New commitment to two further developments, taking committed pipeline to £339 million

Shortage of quality student homes creates significant opportunities to grow our platform

  • Expect to commit to additional developments at attractive returns during 2023
  • Ongoing discussions for strategic university partnerships, including acquisition and new development
  • Acquired £71 million build-to-rent pilot in Stratford

Rental growth more than offsetting the impact of rising property yields

  • Portfolio valuation of £5,690 million (Unite share), up 4.0% on a like-for-like basis
  • Net debt/EBITDA reduced to 7.3x (2021: 8.3x), with LTV of 31% (2021: 29%)
  • £256 million of disposals at a yield of 5.7%, improving portfolio quality
  • Acquisition of USAF units, equivalent to £177 million of GAV at an effective yield of 5.1%

Sustainability strategy delivering a positive impact through people and places

  • £13 million of investments in energy initiatives, supporting 2030 net zero target
  • Significant improvement in EPC ratings, with 80% of portfolio now A-C rated (2021: 57%)
  • £2 million in social value investments, including the Unite Foundation
  • Launch of Financial Support to Stay pilot targeted at students most in financial need
  1. The financial statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These financial highlights are based on the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) best practice recommendations and these performance measures are published as they are intended to help users in the comparability of these results across other listed real estate companies in Europe. The metrics are also used internally to measure and manage the business and to align to the performance related conditions for Directors’ remuneration. See glossary for definitions
  2. Excludes IFRS 16 related balances recognised in respect of leased properties. See glossary for definitions.
  3. Adjusted earnings and adjusted EPS remove the impact of the LSAV performance fee and abortive acquisition costs from EPRA earnings and EPRA EPS. See glossary for definitions and note 7 for calculations and reconciliations.


For further information, please contact:

Unite Students

Richard Smith / Joe Lister / Mike Burt                                                            Tel: +44 117 302 7005

Unite press office                                                                                                      Tel: +44 117 450 6300


Justin Griffiths / Victoria Heslop                                                                        Tel: +44 20 7250 1446