Grainger collects 97% of rents, ups dividend

Grainger CEO Helen Gordon

Newcastle-headquartered Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, said on Thursday its rent collection remained robust at 97% on average for the year to September 30, 2020.

Private rented sector (PRS) specialist Grainger has 8,941 operational rental homes with another 8,950 in its pipeline.

Grainger CEO Helen Gordon said: “We have a strong business in a resilient sector.

“The PRS market is forecast to continue to grow significantly, and, as a market leader with a secured pipeline of over £1bn, we are particularly well placed for the future.

“Our continued growth this year despite the challenging conditions of Covid-19 pandemic proves the strengths of our strategy, operating platform and business model.”

Grainger’s revenue fell 3.9% to £214 million and pretax profit fell 15.6% to £110.8 million.

Despite this, Grainger is proposing a 5% increase in total dividend to 5.47p per share.

CEO Gordon added: “Our in-house operating platform has proved its value, enabling us to continue to serve our customers and continue to let and sell properties in a Covid-secure manner, with minimal reliance on external third parties.

“Average occupancy for the year remained high at 95%, rent collection remained robust at 97% on average and we have continued to deliver rental growth.

“We delivered a strong sales performance, in line with last year, achieving prices at premiums to valuation.

“Throughout the year we continued to deliver and invest in high quality modern rental homes.

“We successfully progressed the lease up of Brook Place in Sheffield and launched Solstice Apartments in Milton Keynes and Millet Place in East London.

“In total, we launched 612 new rental homes this year.

“We successfully secured planning committee approval for our Waterloo scheme, our Besson Street scheme in partnership with Lewisham Borough Council, and for our Southall Sidings scheme through Connected Living London, our partnership with TfL.

“We also expanded our pipeline with six new schemes, representing over £400m of new investment and 1,475 new homes.

“We have the potential to more than double net rental income again through the schemes in our investment pipeline.

“In the first half of the financial year we successfully raised equity for our growth plans followed by a bond issue in the summer, and we enter our new financial year in a position of both financial and operational strength which will enable us to continue to deliver good quality, safe homes to a growing number of customers, as well as long term, attractive returns to shareholders.”