Assura portfolio passes £1bn mark

The Warrington-based owner of GP surgeries and primary care centres enjoyed a £100m uplift in the valuation of its assets in the six months to the end of September.

Issuing its interim results to the stockmarket today, the company said the portfolio was now valued at £1,025m compared to £925m in March.

Assura completed the acquisition of 36 properties for £65m during the first half and saw rent roll increase by 7.2% to £59.6m. The group portfolio now contains 301 GP practices with more acquisitions in the pipeline and a backdrop of a pledge by the NHS to invest £1bn in the primary care estate.

Net asset value per share rose 5.5% to 46.4p. The pre-tax profit leapt 115% to £35.4m compared to £16.5m this time last year.

Assura recommended a 10% increase in quarterly dividend to 0.55 pence per share, equivalent to 2.2 pence per share on an annual basis.

The share price was flat at 54p.

Graham Roberts, chief executive, said: “The need for increased investment in high quality GP space is immediate: There has been years of underinvestment in the primary care market, and in a recent survey 40% of GPs considered their premises to be inadequate for their services. The need for increased investment is also growing fast: in 25 years’ time the population of those over 75 years old is set to have increased by 90%, and GPs will play a critical role in managing the health needs of this ageing population.  Assura, as the leader in the sector, is well placed to help meet this demand.”

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