Newcastle-headquartered Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, said on Thursday its has a current business pipeline of £2.1 billon as it announced results for the six months ended March 31, 2021.
Grainger said profit before tax edged 1% higher to £50.3 million and adjusted earnings rose 11% to £37.5 million.
The company also said it has agreed to forward fund and acquire a 259-home build to rent development in Derby for £37.4 million with St James Securities.
Grainger CEO Helen Gordon said: “We have delivered a strong performance over the past six months despite the impact of Covid-19.
“It has been a period of intense operational activity, supporting our customers in their homes.
“Adjusted earnings grew 11% over the period and our strong sales performance more than offset a reduction in occupancy in our PRS portfolio (89%) caused by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
“Our rental income continued to prove resilient with very high levels of rent collection at 98% and continued rental growth of 1.7%.
“We are therefore maintaining our interim dividend at 1.83p.
“We continue to progress our well-established growth strategy, with new acquisitions for 490 new rental homes, major planning approvals secured for a further 618 new rental homes, and over 1,000 new rental homes to be delivered this year.
“During the six-month period we have driven customer retention, lettings and rental growth ahead of the market, leveraging our in-house operating platform.
“There is positive market evidence, including the +86% rise in lettings enquiries we have generated since the beginning of the year, which suggests a strong lettings market to come as we enter the peak summer period and all remaining lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“This provides us with increasing confidence for an improved performance for the second half of the year subject to the UK economy reopening as currently expected.
“The many actions we have taken from the outset of our strategy in 2016, focusing the business to what it is today and setting us up for significant future growth and earnings potential, but also the actions we took in the past six months, gives us a high level of assurance that we are ready to capitalise on the UK’s reopening over the coming months, and pursue our long term growth plans.”