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Assura PLC

Assura plc 6% increase in investment property to £1.8 billion

Assura plc (LON:AGR), the leading primary care property investor and developer, today announced its results for the six months to 30 September 2018:

Continued growth of the portfolio

· 6% increase in investment property to £1.8 billion (March 2018: £1.7 billion)

· 39 properties added to the portfolio in the six months at a combined cost of £108 million (rent £5.5 million and WAULT of 13.3 years), and a further £50 million on three properties immediately after the period end

· 0.6% growth in diluted EPRA NAV per share to 52.7 pence (March 2018: 52.4 pence)

· 7% increase in rent roll to £97.0 million (March 2018: £91.0 million)

Delivering for investors

· 36% increase in EPRA earnings to £31.7 million (September 2017: £23.3 million)

· EPRA EPS of 1.3 pence (September 2017: 1.3 pence)

· IFRS profit before tax of £37.4 million (September 2017: £73.4 million) reduction reflecting lower revaluation gains

· Dividends paid in the period 1.3 pence (September 2017: 1.2 pence)

· 5% increase in dividend from January to 0.685p per quarter

Strengthened balance sheet enabling long-term low interest rates to be secured

· Assigned rating of A- (stable outlook) by Fitch Ratings Limited and completed issuance of £300 million unsecured listed bond with tenor of 10 years and interest rate of 3% per annum

· Weighted average cost of debt 3.28% and weighted average debt maturity 8.0 years (March 2018: 3.12% and 6.0 years respectively)

Well positioned, sector leader in a market that is in significant need of investment

· Current LTV of 30% (March 2018: 26%) giving significant headroom for future investment

· Strong pipeline (defined as opportunities currently in legal hands) with £189 million of acquisitions and developments

· Scalable internally managed operating model, with in-house development team

· Consensus that primary care must play a bigger role in health provision

· Significant underinvestment in the nation’s primary care premises, many GP premises not currently fit for purpose

· Group operates in a highly fragmented market: portfolio of 556 medical centres compares with a total UK market of approximately 9,000 surgery buildings

Jonathan Murphy, Assura CEO, said:

“We have continued to deliver on our investment plan in the first half of the year, which has seen us grow our portfolio, refresh our pipeline of acquisition and development opportunities, strengthen our balance sheet and achieve an investment grade rating of A-. The performance of the business and our confidence in the outlook is reflected in our decision to raise the dividend by 5 per cent.”

Summary Results

 

Financial performance

September 2018

September 2017

Change

EPRA earnings per share

1.3p

1.3p

Profit before tax

£37.4m

£73.4m

(49.0%)

Net rental income

£46.2m

£38.3m

20.6%

Dividend per share

1.3p

1.2p

9.2%

Property valuation and performance

September 2018

March 2018

Change

Investment property

£1,843m

£1,733m

6.3%

Diluted EPRA NAV per share

52.7p

52.4p

0.6%

Rent roll

£97.0m

£91.0m

6.6%

Financing

Loan to value ratio

30%

26%

4ppts

Undrawn facilities and cash

£398m

£199m

100%

Weighted average cost of debt

3.28%

3.12%

16bps