Health care property firm delivers strong financial performance

Assura head office

Warrington based health care real estate investment trust (REIT) Assura delivered accelerated investment, an improved balance sheet and a strong financial performance, it said today.

Reporting on its year to March 31, the business showed a 28.8% increase in investment property to £1.733bn, and a 22.3% rent roll rise to £91m.

Net rental income rose 18.1% to £80.2m, although pre-tax profits fell 24.6% to £71.8m, reflecting the net impact of the £56.4m early repayment costs payable to Aviva.

The firm repaid £211m of debt to Aviva in January.

Chief executive Jonathan Murphy said: “We have delivered against our key objectives for the past year of growing the portfolio through acquisitions, strengthening the balance sheet to allow us to capitalise on the opportunities in our market, and delivering sustainable returns to investors.

“Primary care remains key to the future requirements of the NHS.

“Our unique model, which delivers significant value to the NHS, and diversified funding structure, positions us well to deliver the improvements needed for a primary care estate that is fit for the future.”

The company says it helps GPs and the NHS bring care closer to home by creating the modern, fit-for-purpose buildings that family doctors say they urgently need, in the right places for patients.

Assura designs, builds, invests in and manages GP surgery buildings and primary care centres.

The company increased its unsecured revolving credit facility to £300m, and has a strong pipeline with £152m of acquisitions and developments, underpinned by a consensus that primary care must play a bigger role in health provision.

Assura says there is significant underinvestment in the nation’s primary care premises, with many GP premises not currently fit for purpose.

It says it operates in a highly fragmented market – the portfolio of 518 medical centres compares with a total UK market of approximately 9,000 surgery buildings.