Assura Plc - Full Year Results to 31 March 2020
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Creating outstanding spaces for health services in our communities
Assura plc ("Assura"), the leading primary care property investor and developer, today announces its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2020.
Jonathan Murphy, CEO, said:
"With the outbreak of COVID-19, the importance of the NHS to our society has never been more apparent. Assura has worked closely with the NHS and our GP partners since the onset of the crisis, to make sure we can best support the health service while also focusing on the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, occupiers and their patients.
"Assura has always been focused on fulfilling our purpose of creating outstanding spaces that best support the health services in all of our communities. Over the last financial year, we have assessed our strategy to see where we can make a greater contribution to society. Following this evaluation, we are placing our social performance at the heart of our strategy and launching a plan to make Assura the UK's leading listed property business for long-term social impact. The intention is both exciting and ambitious and we look forward to updating on progress against our targets.
"As an initial step in achieving this objective, we were delighted to announce in April of this year the launch of the Assura Community Fund, with an initial funding of £2.5 million from our recent successful equity raise. This will work to support the charities, voluntary organisations and community groups working across the UK around Assura's healthcare buildings, to support healthier communities for the public benefit.
"Assura has delivered another strong year, reflecting our predictable business model. Assura's financial strength and market-leading capabilities position it well to continue its support of the NHS as primary care becomes increasingly integral to reducing pressure on Britain's health service."
Placing social impact at the heart of Assura's strategy
- Our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, tenants and patients during the pandemic.
- We continue to work closely with the NHS and our GP tenants to support the service through the crisis, including utilising vacant space for the NHS and supporting occupiers' needs with our premises.
- We are today launching our sixbysix ambition - that by 2026 six million people will have benefitted from improvements to and through our healthcare buildings, maximising our contribution to society and minimising our impact on the environment - as part of our plan to become the UK's leading listed property business for long-term social impact.
- As an initial step, the Assura Community Fund has been launched with an initial contribution of £2.5 million to support health-improving projects in the communities around our buildings, furthering our support for charity partners in place before COVID-19.
Predictable business model demonstrates resilience in uncertain times
- Strong portfolio of 576 properties with passing rent roll up 6% to £108.9 million (2019: £102.7 million) and WAULT of 11.7 years (2019: 12.0 years).
- EPRA earnings have increased by 6% to £67.5 million, EPRA EPS has grown 4% to 2.8 pence per share (2019: £63.8 million, 2.7 pence per share)
- Profit before tax at £78.9 million, reflecting higher net rental income following additions to the portfolio and lower positive valuation movement than prior year (2019: £84.0 million).
- As at 31 March 2020, portfolio value is up 8% to £2,139.0 million (2019: £1,978.8 million).
- Portfolio Net Initial Yield ("NIY") at 4.68% (2019: 4.74%).
- Continued strong progress with developments, bolstered by the acquisition of GPI: four schemes completed, a further 15 on site at a total cost of £81 million.
- Continued track record of investment: 28 high-quality acquisitions for consideration of £119 million, 19 disposals with proceeds of £20.1 million.
- 32 lease re-gears completed in respect of £2.9 million of existing rent roll, extending those leases by a weighted average of 10.5 years
- Dividend increased to 0.71 pence per share with effect from the July 2020 payment.
Well-funded for future growth
- Renewed focus on development and asset enhancement: immediate development pipeline totalling £77 million; acquisitions pipeline at £67 million in legal hands; asset enhancement capital projects of £17 million.
- 38 lease re-gears agreed and currently in legal hands covering £4.6 million of existing rent roll.
- As at 31 March 2020 gross debt stood at £847 million with undrawn facilities of £220 million.
- Equity raise successfully completed on 7 April 2020 generating gross proceeds of £185 million.
- LTV of 38% at 31 March 2020 (30% proforma following equity placing) provides continued headroom to build portfolio.
- Today we announce the extension of our revolving credit facility to November 2024.