Unite increases its 2017 full year dividend by 26%

DividendMax Ltd.

Unite increases its 2017 full year dividend by 26%

Unite 2017 final results

EPRA Earnings up 12% to £70.5m (2016: £62.7m)

EPRA earnings now represent one-third of total shareholder return

Like-for-like rental growth of 3.4% (2016: 3.8%)

Profit before tax up 14% to £229.4 million (2016: £201.4 million)

Dividend increased 26% to 22.7p, dividend pay-out to increase to 85% from 2018

Increase in final dividend to 15.4p (2016: 12.0p)

Dividend pay-out to increase to 85% of EPRA earnings from the current level of 75%

14% total accounting return (2016: 15%)

Record level of reservations for 18/19 academic year supports rental growth outlook

Reservations for 2018/19 academic year at 75%, a record level for this time of year (2016: 73%)

Supports rental growth outlook for 2018/19 of 3.0-3.5% on a like-for-like basis

Earnings growth underpinned by nomination agreements, development pipeline & improved margins

Nomination agreements with Universities now represent 60% of accommodation (2016: 58%), with an average remaining life of six years (2016: six years) providing income and rental growth certainty on over half of revenue

Secured development pipeline of 7,550 beds for delivery over the next three years (2016: 7,000 beds), generating an attractive 8.1% yield on cost

Together with rental growth, these new openings net of disposals could add 13p to 17p to earnings per share over the next few years

Delivery of £5 million of operational efficiencies (Unite share: £3.8 million) in 2017 will improve margin from 74.1% and overhead efficiency from 40bps to targets of 75% and 25-30bps in 2018

Significant progress with University partnerships

Acquisition of Aston Student Village (3,067 beds), delivering returns ahead of plan

A new development-led partnership secured with Oxford Brookes University with planning in place to deliver 887 beds in 2019

A new development-led partnership in London, secured subject to planning, to deliver c.1,000 beds in 2021 supported through planning by King's College, London

High-quality portfolio aligned to the strongest Universities where intake continues to grow

Operational portfolio increased to 50,000 beds valued at £4.6 billion; Unite share £2.4 billion, with a further 9,400 beds being developed (2016: 49,000 beds, valued at £4.3 billion; Unite share £2.1billion)

85% of Unite's portfolio now located at high and mid-ranked Universities (2016: 82%), increasing to 90% on completion of our development and University partnership pipeline and planned acquisitions and disposals

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