Assura declares record £480m development pipeline

The Warrington-based healthcare investor’s half year trading results on the London Stock Exchange show a continued determination to grow, with the addition of 27 properties to its portfolio between April and September.

The property additions include seven development completions and 20 acquisitions, which cost a total of £117m. The investor said that it now had 625 properties in its portfolio, with an annualised rent roll of £127.5m.

Assura said that it had also completed 11 disposals above March 2021 book value, which had landed the company proceeds of £15m.

Assura is on site with 12 of its developments, with a total cost of £72m. There are 20 projects in the immediate development pipeline, each of which is expected to be on site within a year. The cost for those projects is £145m. The extended development pipeline is estimated at a cost of £263m. These are schemes for which Assura will be working as the exclusive development partner with the NHS but are awaiting NHS approval. At £480m, the development pipeline is the largest ever for Assura, with the previous record having been the £405m pipeline reported in its results for the year ending March 2021.

The developer said that it was also currently on site with five capital asset enhancement projects with a £3.7m total spend.

Assura said that its net debt position had improved over the year before, from £906.6m reported in its March 2021 full year results to £1,015m as of 30 September. The weighted average interest rate for the most recent figure is 2.3%. The company also said it had received a 12-year 1.625% £300m sustainability bond in June 2021.

“Assura has been extremely active so far this financial year,” said chief executive officer Jonathan Murphy. “We have made good progress with our investment and development strategy, demonstrating our capabilities and building on our market-leading position.”

Murphy went on to describe how Assura is well placed to help the NHS post-Covid.

“The NHS has been put under ever-increasing strain by COVID, which has highlighted capacity constraints in hospitals, increased waiting lists, and exposed older buildings as inadequate for current healthcare requirements,” Murphy said.

“Assura’s experience, built up through years of close engagement with the NHS, means we are well-positioned to deliver the future innovative community buildings this country needs and support the NHS through key emerging trends including digitalisation, the integration of healthcare systems and mental health support,” he continued. “Assura is proud to have invested over £1 billion into primary care properties since April 2017 and currently have a record development pipeline totalling £480 million.”

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