Empiric’s NAV nudges down

Empiric Student Property has revealed a slight fall in net asset value (NAV) per share for the six months to 30 June.

NAV per share fell 0.08% to 105.81p during the half year, while earnings per share came in at 2.89p, 14.6% down since the end of 2016. EPRA earnings per share were down 24.3% at 0.29p.

Revenue, however, leapt 27.3% to £24.5m, and gross annual rental income was up 3.3% to £53.8m. The group’s property valuation was up 13.4% at £817.9m, and the group left the dividend for the period unchanged at 3.05p. Operating profit also remained the same as at the end of 2016 at £20.2m.

The group’s loan to value stood at 36%, with a weighted average term to maturity for the debt of 7.1 years and weighted average interest payable of 3.42%.

The Rt Hon Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, chairman of Empiric, said: “More students demanding a bed in purpose built accommodation coupled with pressures on local housing markets means that demand for PBSA remains strong.

“The details of the UK’s exit from the European Union remain unclear but the UK Government recognises the importance of the continued success of the higher education sector. Around 23% of students in the UK are international, of which nearly 7% are from the EU. Many are postgraduates who come to the UK for 12 months or less, which means they should not be affected by post-Brexit limits on immigration, which would apply to those coming here for more than one year.

“The student accommodation market remains highly attractive and we have the strategy, pipeline, financial resources, management team and people to continue to grow the business successfully in the second half of the year and into the future. In summary, we are optimistic about Empiric’s prospects in the remainder of 2017 and beyond.”

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