Assura maintains track record through third quarter

by | Jul 6, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Primary care property investor and developer Assura said in an update on Thursday that during the first quarter, it maintained its track record with a portfolio of 610 properties generating annualised rent of £145.3m.
The FTSE 250 company successfully completed two significant projects, including its 100th development in Wolverhampton, as announced on 29 June.

Additionally, Assura concluded a £22m scheme in Kettering.

Assura said it also executed one-asset enhancement capital project during the quarter, with a total expenditure of £1.1m.

The company added that it was currently on site with nine additional projects, totalling £103m in costs, of which £45m had been spent thus far.

Assura explained that its immediate development pipeline included five schemes, valued at £35m, where construction was expected to kick-off in the next 12 months.

However, the company said it had faced delays on some pipeline projects due to negotiations to ensure that rental rates accurately reflected the current cost of construction.

Rent reviews proved to be fruitful during the quarter, as Assura settled 55 cases covering £5.5m of existing rent.

The reviews generated an uplift of £0.6m.

In terms of financial performance, Assura increased its quarterly dividend by 5% to 0.82p per share, as it announced at its full-year results.

The increase would take effect from the July payment.

Assura’s said its financial position remained robust, with its weighted average interest rate unchanged at 2.30%, and all drawn debt held on a fixed-rate basis.

The company said its weighted average debt maturity stood at 6.8 years, with no refinancing required until October 2025.

Furthermore, over 50% of the drawn debt was maturing beyond 2030, with the company securing its longest-maturity debt at its lowest interest rates.

Assura’s net debt stood at £1.14bn on a fully-unsecured basis, as the company possessed cash and undrawn facilities worth £234m.

“Assura has delivered another quarter of strong financial performance and disciplined activity,” said chief executive officer Jonathan Murphy.

“Our on-site activities progressed well, with two developments and one asset enhancement project reaching practical completion, providing high quality premises and enabling an improved range of health services for patients.

“We made good progress with rent reviews over the period, settling a further 55 reviews to generate an uplift of £0.6m.”

Murphy said the company was continuing to see “many opportunities” to work with the NHS in providing critical primary care infrastructure.

“Our leading market position, strong and sustainable financial position and pipeline of growth opportunities will allow us to continue to deliver against our proven strategy.”

At 1026 BST, shares in Assura were down 2.67% at 45.14p.

Reporting by Josh White for

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