Assura rides political uncertainty over NHS to post ‘significant growth’

The listed healthcare investment trust added 20% to its portfolio in the past year, now standing at £1.3bn, the company said as it issued full year results and an increased payout to shareholders.

The results for the year ended 31 March showed continued growth across the portfolio, rents, profit and dividend.

Rent roll was up 16.6% to £74.4m. Pre-tax profit more than tripled from £28.8m in 2016 to £95.2m.

The dividend increased by 9.8% to 2.25p a share.

On the balance sheet, Warrington-based Assura said it had £250m of unsecured revolving credit facility signed at initial margin of 1.5% and £100m of loan notes from a US private placement agreed at 2.65% fixed for 10 years. The company’s weighted average cost of debt reduced by 0.78% to 4.06%.

The company has identified £153m of new acquisitions and development opportunities. The current loan-to-value of 37% provides over £190m of investment capacity, the company said, before “reaching the mid-point of our medium-term LTV range of 40-50%, allowing Assura to move quickly as the right investment opportunities arise.”

The group “operates in fragmented market: portfolio of 398 medical centres compares to a total UK market of circa 9,000 buildings.”

Jonathan Murphy, CEO, said: “During a period of political and economic uncertainty, Assura has continued to deliver significant growth built on a secure and long-term income stream. Following the Naylor review, it is clear that mainstream thinking is strongly in favour of further investment in primary care premises. That’s why it is encouraging to see both the Conservatives and Labour making commitments to improve NHS buildings in the next parliament. Further to this, it is encouraging to see focus right across the political spectrum on providing better access to General Practice and innovative services in the community that better meet patients’ needs. We now need firm timetables and funding to create the required space, and if we have this Assura is well placed to help primary care plans become reality.”

The share price rose 1p to 59.95p.

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Brilliant result keep expanding

By Joe shaoul

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