Assura: Region ‘playing catch up’ on healthcare projects
The healthcare property developer said it was in “active discussions” over sites across the region after posting an increase in rental income in its latest half-year results.
Assura’s only scheme in the region in the period is the £2.1m healthcare element of Timperley Library, pictured above, which it has committed to purchased once the scheme completes in autumn 2020. Speaking to Place North West, Jonathan Murphy, chief executive at Assura, said there had been “little activity” in the region over the past six months but that he expected the market to “play catch up” over the second half of the year.
The company announced a pre-tax profit of £36.4m for the six months to 30 September 2019, a 2.7% decrease on the same period in 2018, which clocked in at £37.4m. Assura said this was down to lower revaluation gains due to a dip in the market.
The company increased its net rental income to £50.6m, up 9.5% increase on last year when it stood at £46.2m and raised its annual rent roll from £102.7m from March this year up 1.7% to £104.4m.
Assura acquired the pipeline and team of the primary care developer GPI in May this year, which the company said has strengthened its on-site and pipeline position to “the strongest it has seen in 10 years”.
It added £43m to its completed property portfolio in the period and has purchased a further nine. There are 14 developments on site across the country at a total end cost of £69m, and Murphy said there is “an immediate pipeline of an additional 15 schemes, valued at £72m, which will continue our growth.”
Assura is the “NHS partner of choice” and has a pipeline of properties at £206m for the service. Asked around the impact of the upcoming general election, Murphy said: “There is cross party support for the NHS, and under either a Johnson Government or a Corbyn one; both know that efficiency is key to support the development of more services.”
Murphy concluded, saying: “Assura has today delivered another strong performance, driven by new developments and carefully selected acquisitions. We have again made good progress with out key operational metrics, reporting 10% growth in net rental income, maintaining our focus on asset enhancement, selective strategic acquisitions and disposals. Our pipeline is the strongest it has been in 10 years, enhanced by the acquisition of GPI, which has created fresh opportunities for Assura.
“The UK’s primary care infrastructure continues to be in immediate need of modernisation which will ease the significant strain on NHS services. We remain well-positioned to be the NHS’s partner of choice, bringing a long-term approach to both investing and developing with an unrivalled team, capital strength and quality of service.”