Coronavirus Update

Assura Plc - Full Year Results 2021

This content has been sourced from: https://www.investegate.co.uk/assura-plc--agr-/rns...

Assura plc

Delivering continued growth

Assura plc ("Assura"), the leading primary care property investor and developer, today announces its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2021.

Jonathan Murphy, CEO, said:

"Over the year we continued to build on our market-leading position, delivering a strong financial performance, a record number of new developments in local communities and significant progress on our social impact strategy, SixBySix.

"With an ageing population and challenges exacerbated by COVID-19, NHS services are under intense pressure. Well-designed and located community healthcare spaces that meet the ever-changing requirements of GPs and their patients will play an essential role in reducing this pressure on hospitals and the wider health service. With our largest ever development pipeline and deep understanding of the NHS, we are well-placed to continue delivering such space and to support it through key emerging trends including digitalisation, the integration of healthcare systems and mental health support.

"The NHS is seeking to become the world's first net zero carbon health system and we have set tough targets for ourselves, as we believe our contribution to improving health in communities must reach far beyond our buildings.

"After another successful year, we look forward with confidence to progressing our strategy and continuing to deliver value for our shareholders and wider stakeholders."

Strong growth and resilient cash flows bolster our position as NHS partner of choice

  • Passing rent roll up 12% to £121.7 million (March 2020: £108.9 million)
  • WAULT increased to 11.9 years (March 2020: 11.7 years)
  • Profit before tax up 37% to £108.3 million (2020: £78.9 million), EPS 4.1 pence per share (2020: 3.1 pence per share)
  • Adjusted EPRA earnings up 12% to £75.4 million (2020: £67.5 million), adjusted EPRA EPS of 2.8 pence per share (2020: 2.8 pence per share)
  • Portfolio increased 15% to £2,453 million as at 31 March 2021 (March 2020: £2,139 million)
  • Portfolio Net Initial Yield ("NIY") at 4.58% (March 2020: 4.68%)
  • Rent collections continue to be in line with normal pattern
  • Eighth consecutive year of dividend growth - 4.2% increase in quarterly dividend to 0.74 pence per share with effect from the July 2021 payment

Continuing to deliver critical new capacity for community healthcare

  • Growing portfolio of 609 high-quality properties (March 2020: 576), serving 5.9 million people across the UK
  • Record number of developments (12) completed in the year (March 2020: 4); a further 16 on site at a total cost of £72 million
  • Market-leading development capability further strengthened by acquisition of Apollo in February 2021
  • Completed 50 acquisitions for consideration of £230 million; 29 disposals with proceeds of £26 million
  • Four asset enhancement projects completed (£1.2 million spend), four more on site (£2.7 million spend)
  • 31 lease re-gears (£2.8 million existing rent roll) and 320 rent reviews completed (1.2% uplift on OMR reviews)
  • Total contracted rental income increased to £1.57 billion (March 2020: £1.43 billion
  • Pipelines: immediate developments totalling £111 million; acquisitions at £46 million in legal hands; asset enhancement capital projects of £15 million
  • 39 lease re-gears covering £5.0 million of existing rent roll in the current pipeline

Sustainability and social impact at the heart of all decision-making

  • Continued to closely support our partners and patients through the crisis - utilising vacant space and adapting existing premises such as for longer-term social distancing and hybrid care for physical and virtual consultations
  • End the year with close to one in ten of our buildings as designated vaccine hubs, helping with local planning
  • A good start to our SixbySix social impact strategy ambition to benefit six million people from improvements to and through our healthcare buildings by 2026 - over 275,000 people benefited in year one
  • Assura Community Fund launched in May 2020 with a £2.5 million contribution; more than £800,000 already distributed to health-improving projects around our buildings
  • All development completions rated BREEAM Very Good or Excellent and met EPC targets of B and above
  • Two development projects identified as our first net zero pilots; aiming to be on site within 12 months
  • Enhanced focus on 'patient-centric' design, with partnerships at Dimensions and Dementia UK
  • Launched Share Incentive Plan to allow all staff to benefit from the company's success with 82% uptake
  • First UK real estate Social Bond issued in accordance with our Social Finance Framework

Strong and diverse financial position

  • As at 31 March 2021 gross debt stood at £957 million on a fully unsecured basis
  • Undrawn facilities of £225 million and cash of £46.6 million
  • Issued £10-year £300 million Social Bond with coupon of 1.5% in September 2020
  • Gross proceeds of £185 million from equity raise in April 2020
  • LTV of 37% at 31 March 2021 and weighted average interest rate of 2.47%
  • A- (stable outlook) rating from Fitch Ratings Ltd reaffirmed in January 2021

Summary results

Financial performance

March 2021

March 2020

Change

Net rental income

£112.0m

£103.7m

8.0%

Profit before tax

£108.3m

£78.9m

37.3%

IFRS earnings per share

4.1p

3.1p

32.3%

EPRA earnings per share

2.7p

2.8p

(3.6%)

Adjusted EPRA earnings per share

2.8p

2.8p

-

Dividend per share

2.82p

2.75p

2.5%

Property valuation and performance

March 2021

March 2020

Change

Investment property

£2,453m

£2,139m

14.7%

Diluted EPRA NTA per share

57.2p

53.9p

6.1%

Rent roll

£121.7m

£108.9m

11.8%

Financing

March 2021

March 2020

Change

Loan to Value ("LTV") ratio

37%

38%

(1)ppt

Undrawn facilities and cash

£272m

£238m

14.3%

Weighted average cost of debt

2.47%

3.03%

(56)bps