Grainger plc strategy pays off as profits rise 26% during last financial year

Residential property owner and manager says it is well positioned for another successful year as the economy continues to improve

Andrew Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham, chief executive of Grainger plc

Grainger plc saw profit before tax rise 26%, from £64.3m to £81.1m, during the last financial year.

Preliminary results for the year ended September 30, 2014, also show strong value growth, with gross net asset value per share up 20% to 291p, while triple net asset value rose 24% to 242p.

The Newcastle-registered Grainger is the UK’s largest listed residential property owner and manager.

During the year, its strategy delivered continued outperformance from its UK residential assets, with a 14.6% increase in the market value of its portfolio, significantly higher than the average of 9.5% for the Nationwide and Halifax house price indices.

Grainger has also enjoyed an encouraging start to the new financial year, with the group sales pipeline at October 31 sitting at £77m.

This should deliver around £35m profit.

Grainger’s outgoing chairman Robin Broadhurst said: “In my final statement as chairman of Grainger, I am pleased to announce that the group has once again had a strong period of performance and is on solid ground for continued growth.

“We have set out a clear strategy for the business which will continue to trade reversionary assets, which provide attractive returns. In addition, Grainger will increasingly allocate capital to market rented assets and opportunities in the growing build to rent market, often through Grainger-managed co-investment vehicles.

“There is significant value in the business for shareholders and I am excited by the prospects for the future of Grainger.”

Chief executive Andrew Cunningham said: “Grainger has had another period of strong financial performance and we have continued to significantly grow the asset value of the Company. Our net asset value and profits are up substantially, margins on sales have increased, our leverage is down and we have again seen the value of our portfolio rise faster than the general market.”

He added that, following a period of very strong house price growth - particularly in London and the South East - more sustainable rates of growth were now being seen.

“Conditions in the regions and some areas of the capital remain positive and, notwithstanding some evidence of moderating of house price inflation and transaction volumes, our own assets are continuing to command good prices due to their defensive qualities, notably their price points, location and nature,” he said.

“For the first time in recent years, we have seen growth in the values of our assets across every region of the UK over the period.

“We continue to believe that the supply-demand dynamics of the housing market, and the gradual improvement in the economy and employment market will ensure we remain in a positive house price environment, which will include improvement in those regions with strong economic prospects outside of London and the South East.

“We are confident that we are in a good position for the forthcoming year, and our focus is set on growing the business through purchases of revisionary assets and investment in market rented assets and build to rent opportunities.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer