10 April 2018
THE UNITE GROUP PLC
('Unite Students', 'Unite', the 'Group', or the 'Company')
QUARTERLY VALUATION UPDATE FOR THE UNITE UK STUDENT ACCOMMODATION FUND AND THE LONDON STUDENT ACCOMMODATION JOINT VENTURE
The Unite Group plc, the UK's leading manager and developer of student accommodation, announces the quarterly property valuation of the Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund ('USAF') and the London Student Accommodation Joint Venture ('LSAV') as at 31 March 2018.
At 31 March 2018, USAF's property portfolio was independently valued at £2,284 million representing a like-for-like increase of 0.7% during the quarter. The portfolio comprises 25,218 beds in 71 properties across 23 University towns and cities in the UK.
LSAV's investment portfolio was independently valued at £1,175 million, up 1.4% in the quarter on a like-for-like basis. LSAV's investment portfolio comprises 8,477 beds across 13 properties in London and Aston Student Village in Birmingham.
The increase in valuations is driven by rental growth and an average two basis points of yield compression in both portfolios. The overall USAF portfolio is valued at a blended yield of 5.4% and LSAV's portfolio at 4.7%.
Reservations for the 2018/19 academic year are progressing strongly with 78% of bed spaces let, in line with the same point last year.
Joe Lister, Unite Students Chief Financial Officer, commented:
"Unite Students has delivered another strong performance in the first quarter of 2018. Reservations for the 2018/19 academic year remain ahead of last year's run rate and support a positive rental growth outlook. Our reputation is underpinned by long-term, meaningful partnerships with leading Universities, allowing us to capitalise on our market-leading position in a sector that continues to demonstrate structural growth."
For further information, please contact:
Joe Lister (Chief Financial Officer)
Candice Macdonald (Head of Corporate Communications)
Tel: +44 117 302 7005
Tel: +44 7525 592 521
Justin Griffiths / Mazar Masud
Tel: +44 20 7250 1446
Notes to editors:
About Unite Students
Unite Students is the UK's largest manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation serving the country's world-leading higher education sector. We currently provide homes for almost 50,000 students in more than 140 properties across 24 leading University towns and cities in England and Scotland. Unite also has a strong development pipeline, which will deliver a further 8,000 beds in the next three years.
Our 1,400 people are driven by a common purpose: to provide the students who live with us a 'Home for Success' and to be the most trusted brand in the sector. We do this through great service, great people and great properties, all designed on the basis of an unrivalled insight into students' needs and preferences.
Unite's accommodation is high quality, safe and secure, and located close to University campuses, transport links and local amenities. Students live predominantly in ensuite study bedrooms with rents covering all bills, insurance, 24-hour security, fortnightly cleaning services and high-speed Wi-Fi. MyUnite, our mobile app, provides practical support such as instant messaging and maintenance requests.
Our commitment to customer service is powered by an innovative, in-house operating platform. It provides a wide range of benefits to our students, such as an optimised online booking process, as well as providing us with a unique ability to drive value from our portfolio through scale efficiencies and revenue management.
Alongside delivering great service, our other strategic priority is delivering growing and sustainable earnings, underpinned by a strong capital structure. A key part of this strategy is growing the number of beds let though partnerships with mid and high-tariff Universities which are experiencing record levels of student demand. We currently partner with 60 higher education institutions, guaranteeing that approximately 60% of our rooms are let under multi-year, 'nomination agreements' providing high visibility of forward occupancy and rental growth.
Unite is invested in and operates two specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners: the £2 billion Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF), and the £1 billion London Student Accommodation Vehicle (LSAV).
Unite is the founder of and major donor to the Unite Foundation, a charitable trust established to support talented students facing challenging financial circumstances through the provision of free accommodation annual scholarships. The Foundation has so far provided scholarships for 250 young people working in close collaboration with 28 Universities.
Founded in 1991 in Bristol, Unite Group is an award-winning Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 250 Index.
This information is provided by RNS