Unite flags up continued progress but retains cautious approach

November 16, 2011

Bristol-based Unite,  the UK's leading developer and manager of student accommodation, achieved excellent performance through the third quarter in terms of reservation levels, customer service and financial performance, according to chief executive Mark Allan.

"We remain well positioned to outperform the wider student accommodation sector as a result of our London focus, the high quality of our portfolio, strong university relationships and our established brand platform," he said. 

He added, however, that the group continues to monitor closely the capital markets and the broader economic picture and believes that a cautious approach to investment and managing debt is prudent in the near term.

 Third quarter highlights include:

-  Very strong sales performance for 2011/12 with 99% of the managed portfolio of 41,000 rooms sold compared to 97% for 2010/11.

·    Like-for-like net operating income growth of 3.1%, with recurring profit for the full year likely to exceed management expectations.

·    Successful completion and letting of the group's 2011 openings and 2012-14 development pipeline progressing in line with plan.

·    Good progress in arranging new debt facilities, with £145m of facilities arranged or extended in the group's co-investment vehicles and £100m on-balance sheet debt arranged or approved.

Mr Allan said: "Based on the strong lettings performance for the 2011/12 year and continued effective control of costs, we expect recurring profits for the full year (net portfolio contribution) to be ahead of management expectations. 

"This also provides a strong foundation for further improvements in profitability in 2012 which we anticipate will be further enhanced by the impact of cost saving initiatives, worth approximately £2.5m per year, recently implemented and announced (with exceptional implementation costs of £1.5m being expensed in 2011)."

He concluded: "In summary the group is making very good progress against each of its strategic milestones while maintaining an appropriately cautious stance given the significant uncertainty prevailing in the global economy."

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email info@bristol-business.net for more information.