Empiric Student Property plc (LSE: ESP) is an internally managed UK REIT investing in modern, premium student accommodation located in prime city centre locations in top university towns and cities in the UK. The Company listed on the Main Market (Premium Listing) of the London Stock Exchange in June 2014.
Financial highlights (as at 31 December 2016)
- As at 31 December 2016, our portfolio was valued at £721.3m (30 June 2016: £523.9m).
- Our portfolio of operating assets had gross annualised income of £52.1m as at 31 December 2016 (increase of 57.4% over 30 June 2016).
- We have paid out dividends in respect of the six month period ended 31 December 2016 equating to 3.05p per share (12 months to 30 June 2016: 6.0p per share).
- We raised an additional £143.4m of new debt .
Operational Highlights (for the six months to 31 December 2016)
- 14 new assets (1,142 beds) were contracted in the six months to 31 December 2016.
- 2,515 new beds generating revenue for 2016/17 academic year, including 1,728 beds from 13 newly completed developments.
- Portfolio now consists of 89 assets (8,504 beds) in 30 prime UK cities and towns as at 31 December 2016, continued progress to the IPO target of 10,000 beds within five years.
- Average valuation yield on the portfolio of operating assets at 31 December 2016 was 5.9% compared with average yield on acquisition or cost of 6.5%.
Post Balance Sheet Highlights
- Acquired one new standing asset (Foss Studios, 220 beds) and one forward funded asset (Percy’s Lane, 106 beds) in York.
- Acquired the remaining 50 per cent. share in joint venture asset (Glasgow, Willowbank) previously owned by an investment fund affiliated with Revcap Advisors Limited.
- Agreed a £10m, three year unsecured loan with First Commercial Bank which has been drawn down.
1 The Company budgets and models on the basis of 97% occupancy. Occupancy or income of the operational portfolio to this level and in excess is considered fully let.
Empiric’s investment objective is to provide shareholders with regular, sustainable and growing (at least in line with the RPI inflation index) dividends, together with the potential for capital appreciation over the medium to long-term.
Empiric intends to meet its investment objective through acquiring, owning, leasing, developing and managing student residential accommodation in the UK across multiple formats. We let to students in higher education on direct tenancy agreements and on other longer term lease arrangements, as appropriate. We invest in and develop high-quality, modern student accommodation, with a focus on quality, predominantly positioned in prime, city-centre locations in top university cities and towns around the UK, therefore benefitting from strong geographic risk diversification. Full Investment Policy is set out under Company Documents.