Assura enjoys 12.9% net rental income rise in banner year of growth

Assura shares were up 0.6% to 68.8p in early morning trading on Tuesday after the company reported a 12.9% net rental income rise to £126.5 million compared to £112 million in its 2022 results.

The NHS-focused property trust announced a pre-tax profit growth of 43.9% to £155.8 million against £108.3 million year-on-year.

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Assura added 47 properties to its portfolio for a consideration of £271 million, bringing its total number of properties to 645, with a development pipeline of £522 million.

“Assura has delivered another year of significant progress, maintaining its strong financial performance and making a positive contribution to the local communities in which it operates,” said Assura CEO Jonathan Murphy.

“With the UK’s healthcare estate lacking the critical buildings and facilities to tackle the growing backlog of treatments following the pandemic, we know the development of modern, integrated, and high-quality primary care space is a key enabler in reducing this pressure.”

“This area benefits from cross-party political support and Assura is committed to making a significant contribution – all the while accommodating for key emerging trends, including hybrid GP appointments, the requirement for mental health support, and digitalisation.”

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Assura mentioned an IFRS EPS uptick of 36.6% to 5.6p compared to 4.1p, alongside a dividend per share increase of 3.9% to 2.9p from 2.8p.

The trust enjoyed growth across the board, with investment property rising 12.2% to £2.7 million against £2.4 million, diluted EPRA NTA per share increasing 6.1% to 60.7p against 57.2p and rent roll growing 11.5% to £135.7 million compared to £121.7 million.

The firm’s financial position included a loan-to-value rate of 36%, with net debt of £1 billion on a fully unsecured basis, alongside cash and undrawn facilities of £369 million.

Assura noted that all drawn debt was on a fixed rate basis, with a weighted average interest rate reduced to 2.3% against 2.4% in 2021, and a weighted average debt maturity unaltered at eight years.

The company also issued a 12-year £300 million Sustainability Bond with coupon of 1.6%.

The REIT commented that its business model, strong balance sheet and market position placed it in good stead to deliver shareholder value despite the volatile macroeconomic environment going into the coming year.

“Against an uncertain economic backdrop, Assura’s steady and reliable business model, strong balance sheet and differentiated market position means it is extremely well positioned to continue growing and delivering shareholder value,” said Murphy.

“We remain confident in Assura’s outlook for the coming year and beyond”.

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