Assura Plc - Assura Full Year Results

Assura plc, the leading primary care property investor and developer, today announces its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2019.

 

Jonathan Murphy, CEO, said: "Assura has delivered another year of strong operational performance with robust revenue and rental growth. This has been driven by our development and investment teams' focus on growing and enhancing our portfolio and active asset management. We are well positioned in the primary care property market and our development pipeline is the strongest it has been in 10 years. Our expertise in this field will be further strengthened by today's announcement of the acquisition of the primary care developer GPI which enhances our development pipeline by an initial £92 million.

 

"As the government continues to approve healthcare schemes, we look forward to maintaining our deep relationships with the NHS. This is built on our strong links with healthcare trusts and ability to provide high-quality primary care facilities that benefit patients and reduce pressure on the NHS."

 

Valuation up strongly, driven by new developments and carefully selected acquisitions

·      Portfolio value up 14% to £1,979 million driven by both acquisitions and new developments

·      Portfolio NIY now 4.74% and WAULT of 12.0 years demonstrates attractiveness of sector and Assura as a business

·      Diluted EPRA NAV per share up by 1.7% to 53.3p

 

High-quality developments and acquisitions reinforce market-leading portfolio

·      Strong development and investment team successfully secured £240 million of property additions in the year

·      Three state-of-the-art developments completed with nine developments moved to on-site

·      Strong portfolio growth of 57 carefully selected and high-quality property additions

·      Pipeline of properties in legal hands at £142 million

·      Outlook supported by today's announcement of the acquisition of the primary care developer GPI which will reinforce Assura's position as the leading developer in the sector, strengthening our development team and adding an initial £92 million to the immediate and extended pipeline

·      12 disposals amounting to £7 million

 

Portfolio well-placed to capture rental growth

·      Portfolio expansion has enabled rent roll growth of 13% to £102.7 million and rental income growth up 19% to £95.2 million

·      2.2% of rental growth secured through settled rent reviews, including 1.10% relating to open market reviews

·      Rental growth from acquisitions, new developments and increase in rent reviews

·      EPRA EPS up 8% to 2.7p reflecting strong pipeline and cost of debt

·      Profit before tax up 17% to £84.0 million

·      Strong growth reflected in dividend per share rise of 8% to 2.65p and quarterly dividend increased by 5% to 0.685p

 

Robust balance sheet strengthens long-term prospects and access to finance

·      Strong balance sheet and primarily unsecured structure

·      EPRA cost ratio down to 12.5%, one of the lowest in sector

·      EPRA NAV increased 1.7% to 53.3p

·      Undrawn facilities and cash up 44% at £287 million

·      LTV of 34% provides good headroom to create value and build portfolio

·      One of few listed peers assigned rating of A- (stable outlook) by Fitch Ratings Limited providing us with a broadened access to debt capital markets and lenders

·      Completed issuance of £300 million unsecured listed bond with tenor of 10 years and interest rate of 3% per annum

Results strengthen Assura's position as the NHS's partner of choice

·      Primary care remains an integral part of reducing pressure on the NHS's services

·      Assura is best-placed to support given its people, capital strength, quality of its service and its long-term relationships and market understanding

·      Assura's buildings sit at the heart of communities across the UK, supporting 5.6 million patients which equates to 8.5% of the UK population

·      Strong pipeline of properties in legal hands at £142 million will reinforce Assura's position as partner of choice

Summary Results

 

Financial performance

March 2019

March 2018

Change

EPRA earnings per share

2.7p

2.5p

8.0%

Profit before tax

£84.0m

£71.8m

17.0%

Net rental income

£95.2m

£80.2m

18.7%

Dividend per share

2.65p

2.455p

7.9%

Property valuation and performance

March 2019

March 2018

Change

Investment property

£1,979m

£1,733m

14.2%

Diluted EPRA NAV per share

53.3p

52.4p

1.7%

Rent roll

£102.7m

£91.0m

12.9%

Financing

March 2019

March 2018

Change

Loan to value ratio

34%

26%

8ppts

Undrawn facilities and cash

£287m

£199m

44.2%

Weighted average cost of debt

3.24%

3.12%

12bps

 

Alternative Performance Measures ("APMs")

The highlights page and summary results table above include a number of financial measures to describe the financial performance of the Group, some of which are considered APMs as they are not defined under IFRS. Further details are provided in the CFO Review and the notes to the accounts.