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Mortar board

Unite continues progress towards strategic objectives

The Unite Group, the UK developer and manager of student accommodation, has reported robust lettings performance for 2012/13 with average occupancy of 96 per cent and profit objectives on track for the full year.

Rental growth for 2012 is expected to be approximately three per cent, while the company has also reported good progress with its development programme.

The programme for 2012 has been completed and let at an average profit on cost of 44 per cent, the 2014 programme has commenced on site and two sites (in London and Bristol) have been secured for target completion in 2015, subject to planning.

Unite has also continued to make progress on its asset disposal programme the company’s target of GBP100m to GBP150m non-core asset disposals. Some GBP94m of asset sales have been completed or exchanged across the entire operational portfolio, with GBP42m progressing towards exchange and GBP75m of disposals from Unite to its co-investment vehicles on track for completion by the year end.

Mark Allan, chief executive of The Unite Group, says: "Unite has continued to perform strongly in 2012 year to date, with our occupancy for the 2012/13 academic year at 96 per cent and rental growth for the full year expected to be around three per cent, despite disruption to the university admissions process this year.

"Our solid lettings performance and careful cost control means that we remain on track to continue growing recurring profits and cash flow in line with plan. Alongside this, the progress we have made with asset disposals, extending our joint venture relationship with GIC and various debt facilities mean that our balance sheet objectives are similarly on track."

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