Empiric Student Property plc (LSE: ESP), an internally managed UK REIT, is a leading provider and operator of modern, direct-let, nominated or leased 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.
• As at 31 December 2017, our portfolio was valued at £890.1m (31 December 2016: £721.3m).
• Our portfolio of operating assets had gross annualised income of £65.3m as at 31 December 2017 (increase of 25.3% over 31 December 2016)*
• We have paid out dividends in respect of the year ended 31 December 2017 equating to 5.55p per share (six-month period to 31 December 2016: 3.05p per share).
• Our adjusted earnings per share was 1.86p per share for the year ended 31 December 2017 (0.72p per share for the six-month period to 31 December 2016).
- 94 assets with 9,158 beds contracted at 31 December 2017, in 29 prime university cities and towns
- 85 revenue-generating properties as at 31 December 2017, with an average valuation yield of 5.7% compared with an average yield on acquisition or cost of 6.7%
- 1,460 new beds in the 2017/18 academic year including 1,031 beds from nine newly completed developments
- During 2017 acquired four standing assets (429 beds), one forward funded asset (106 beds), one development site (153 beds) and Revcap’s 50% interest in the Willowbank joint venture (178 beds)
- Occupancy of 92%, which was affected by local property management issues and local economic conditions. Pricing review, earlier marketing and process monitoring have been put in place to support full occupancy for the coming year
- Increased the number of assets on the Hello Student® platform by 26 to 62 during 2017, meaning that Hello Student® is marketing or managing 73% of the Group’s operational buildings
* 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.