Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Unite Group Plc LSE:UTG London Ordinary Share GB0006928617 ORD 25P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -12.50 -1.1% 1,120.00 1,118.00 1,119.50 1,143.00 1,113.00 1,130.00 2,070,763 16:35:18
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Real Estate Investment & Services 215.6 -120.1 -31.8 - 4,469

Unite Share Discussion Threads

Showing 1176 to 1198 of 1400 messages
Chat Pages: 56  55  54  53  52  51  50  49  48  47  46  45  Older
As I said in my post on the 3 June I thought a large deal was in prospect - I didn't however think it was going to be this big! The news that Unite is in the late stages of taking over Liberty Living for c. £1.4bn is clearly a very significant deal. We don't know the details but a few points to reflect upon: aa) The price paid will around LL NAV so no premium; bb) This significantly scales up the student property management arm of Unite; and cc) Unite's unique structure gives it substantial financial deal capacity. On this last point Unite's structure of a property development and management company supported by two own managed property funds distinguishes it strategically from it's competitors, the funds are: USAF £2.26bn – Unite own c.23%; and LSAV £1.26bn – Unite own 50%. The financial firepower that this structure provides is a key strategic advantage in what is likely to be a consolidating sector. Regards, Maddox
Marcus Phayre-Mudge, Fund Manager,TR PROPERTY INVESTMENT TRUST PLC on Unite 'Student accommodation remains a core holding through Unite Group which returned 19% in the period. The sector has matured since Unite's first purpose built student building 28 years ago and the estimated sector value in the UK alone is now c.£50bn. Given the well flagged 3% fall in the number of UK 18-20 year olds this year ('the Millenium dip'), the drop of just -0.1% in university acceptances is encouraging. Overseas student numbers from non-EU applicants are up strongly (+6.5%) but it was also encouraging to see EU numbers rise by 2.8% given the Brexit uncertainty. Looking forward the rapid reversal of the demographic dip from 2021 and the steady growth in university participation rates (35% in 2015 to 38% in 2018) remain key positive tailwinds. Unite is constantly improving its portfolio (focusing on 22 key markets) through its development pipeline alongside an exit strategy from subscale locations.' hTTps://
On 20 May Unite's property fund USAF reported strong demand for their equity raise of £250m. Some of this is going towards purchasing 3 properties off Unite for £111m. As a result Unite's loan-to-value (LTV) drops to 25% and Unites stake in USAF will fall from 25% to 23% as UTG did not put any funds into the equity raise. So, Unite continues to amass financial firepower that might suggest a large deal is in prospect? However, this is optimistic speculation on my part – the Uni-deals aren’t exactly coming in thick and fast. Expectations are being set lower – whilst 10 under discussion – the forecast is one to two a year. The Universities are probably distracted by Brexit and the Higher Education funding review - and sitting tight in the midst of this uncertainty. Regards Maddox
As Unite bounces around its 52 week high I thought I'd highlight a some very interesting research from property agent Knight Frank: hTTps:// It appears that Financial Institutions (FIs)continue to be extremely attracted to this sector of the property market. Knight Frank have advised Aberdeen Standard Investments that have made its first investment buying Fulham Palace Studios (74 beds) for £22.6m. They estimate that global investment into this asset class topped $15bn for the third year in a row. Why is this interesting? Well the UK has an attractive PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) market and this interest will drive-up prices. this will be reflected in Unite's (and others) portfolio valuations (called 'yield-compression' in the trade). Demand from overseas students is robust, Brexit or no-Brexit, with a 7.6% rise in overseas student applications for 2018/19. Knight Frank forecast this trend to continue. This demand, and that from first year students remaining in PBSA for their second and third years, will more than off-set the demographic dip in 17/18 year-olds. This will serve to underpin the steady growth in rental income that characterises this sector. The long-view: Frank Knight forecast an additional 220,000 full-time students by 2030 a 15% rise. As PBSA beds are being built at c.20,000 - 25,000 per year it seems to be unlikely that the current significant under-supply of student beds is going to be reduced. So, not really surprising that the 52 week high bar is being re-set. Regards, Maddox
Hi Ben, Happy to explore your point, in fact I hope you are correct. I think the explanation lies in the statutory figures that will include other items such as valuation gains, gains on disposal, and performance fees. This then gives a Basis eps of 90.8p several times larger than the rental income alone - epra eps of 34.1p. Are these the figures you are comparing? Regards Maddox
Hi Ben, Interesting interpretation - why do you think they are doing such a thing? To qualify as a REIT they are required to distribute at least 90 per cent of profits arising from their qualifying property rental business. The property portfolios are independently valued every half-year. REIT status has tax advantages and is subject to rules that HMRC will oversee in order for Unite to continue to qualify as a REIT. REIT Compliance is a specific key audit matter - from the 2018 Annual report: On 1 January 2017, the Group converted to a Real Estate Investment Trust ‘REIT’, with HMRC confirming that the election to REIT status has been validly made. The primary tax consequences of conversion and ongoing maintenance of REIT status are that future UK property business profits and gains on investment properties are not subject to UK corporation tax. Most notably, this means that the Group no longer recognises deferred tax in relation to the valuation gains on the investment property portfolio. In order to maintain REIT status, the Group must comply with certain tests and other conditions to ensure its continuation under the regime. Due to the material impact on the Group’s financial results of remaining in compliance with the REIT regime requirements, we consider REIT compliance to be a key audit matter. Whereas Unite follows the EPRA rules as a basis for comparison with other firms in the sector. Regards Maddox
Hi Maddox, I see UTG as significantly undervalued as they fudge their NAV and Dividend cover percentage. i.e the £761m. income in your note 568 above is just two thirds of NAV. If you rerun their figures ignoring EPRA rules they are a business with 50,000 customers that pretends to have only 30,000 customers so that they are not under pressure to pay a reasonable dividend out of their profits and cash flow. Regards, Ben (It will be great for holders when they stop hiding behind EPRA)
ben gunn
The full year 2018 results are as strong as expected. The highlight for me being the uplift in the dividend by 28% year-on-year to 29p. With the share price closing at 916p as I write the yield is 3.71% which is in it's range of 3 - 4%. However, the advantage of buying into a share like Unite that is growing its income year after year and increasing the dividend pay-out is that on my historic cost of purchase I'm now getting an equivalent yield of over 15%. The much used description of a share like Unite as being a 'bond proxy' couldn't be more wrong in my opinion: It ignores the key attribute that these shares tend to have of increasing their payout whereas bonds don't. Other key highlights: EPRA earnings - +25% EPRA eps - +13% (less due to share issue to buy properties) EPRA NAV - +10% (following some disposals for re-investment) The LTV is a highly conservative 29% with the cost of debt falling to 3.8% (4.1% - 2017) and destined to fall to 3.6% as they increase the debt to build-out their current forward development pipeline of 6,579 beds. When this current pipeline (further additions will be made to it) Unite forecast an EPRA eps of 47p - 51p so a circa 38% - 50% uplift. As 85% of these earnings will be paid-out as dividends we are looking at 39.95p - 43.35p in divs and a projected share price of 1077p - 1168p (based on the current yield). On top of this there are prospective Unite's university partnership deals - that are taking longer to come to fruition than I had hoped. I'd recommend anyone interested in Unite to look at their H2 Results presentation: hTTp:// that gives excellent background information on the market. There is still a large under capacity of student accommodation, numbers are rising and supply is falling. All this underpins an optimistic outlook despite Brexit or further economic travails. Regards Maddox
Unite has staged a dramatic climb in share price from the recent low of 797p on the 27th Dec to what today looks to be if it holds a new all-time high. Currently c.920p as I post. So c.15% in about a month. I get the impression that there aren't many personal investors in Unite and that it's Financial Institutions that are moving the sp; which is why the moves can be large in either direction as they transact in scale. What is also interesting is that looking at the recent reported daily transaction volumes seem to be declining whilst the share price is rising? This suggests that the Unite stock is tightly held and that the price rise is not managing to entice out sellers to satisfy demand. Regards Maddox
Unite provide additional updates on the progress of the two student property funds that they run. Today’s RNS provides the independent Quarterly Fund Valuation Report for these funds’ performance for the year to 31st Dec 2018. The two funds are: USAF – Unite own 25% - like-for-like asset value growth of 5.0% for the year; and LSAV – Unite own 50% - like-for-like asset value growth of 8.4% for the year. So, an excellent performance for the year, and obviously a very encouraging read-across to Unite's full year results to be reported on 27 February. The current year trading has also "started strongly" with 67% rooms sold for the 2019/20 academic year that starts Autumn 2019. With Brexit-deal, or no-Brexit deal Unite's investment case is looking compelling. I find Unite a very reassuring place to have one's money against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty. Regards, Maddox
At very long last Sajid Javid, The Home Secretary has published the White Paper proposals for the post-Brexit Immigration System. Obviously the more controversial proposals have taken the headlines, such as the £30k salary threshold debate, however there are some welcome proposals for UK Universities catering to foreign students: "The White Paper proposals will also ensure there is no limit on the number of genuine international students, who can come to the UK to study. Proposals extend the time they can stay post-study to find employment to six months for those who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree and 12 months for those who have completed a PhD." hTTps:// The UK has been taking a very hard line on foreign students by not allowing them, as other counties do, to stay on for a period to gain work experience after graduating. Essentially, they are a soft target towards reducing UK immigration numbers. However, a The Home Office paper published last year on “exit checks” data – a proper count of all people who are actually known to have left the UK – found 176,317 – 97.4% – of 181, 024 international students from outside the EEA left on time. This itself is probably an underestimate as others in the remaining 2.6% might have also left but via routes not subject to exit checks, such as via Northern Ireland. Foreign Students are estimated to contribute £25bn to the UK economy and play an important role in supporting the UK University Sector through the high fees they pay. Other countries' more welcoming attitude towards foreign students means that they are growing their numbers far more strongly than the UK. Hopefully, this White Paper will make the UK more attractive once more. Regards Maddox
'CBRE’s first-ever Student Accommodation Index found that capital value growth across all student property was 6.5% in the period to September 2018, compared to 4.5% last year, while net rents rose 3.4% over the same period. At the national level annual total returns were 12.3% for the year to September while the CBRE index found that London-based student accommodation outperformed the regions across all three measures.' hxxps://
Good article in Citiwire: 'Brexit won’t bother investors in student property, says GCP' By Michelle McGagh 07 Sep, 2018 hTTp:// Whilst featuring GCP the arguments apply equally well to Unite.
'Give foreign students longer visas' says Universities UK The international director of Universities UK, Vivienne Stern, has called for a new visa to be created that would allow foreign students to get work experience in the UK for two years after they've graduated. She told BBCR4 Today Programme that international students are invaluable to British education and economy. The UK has been taking a very hard line on foreign students by not allowing them, as other counties do, to stay on for a period to gain work experience after graduating. Essentially, they are a soft target towards reducing UK immigration numbers. However, a recent The Home Office paper on “exit checks” data – a proper count of all people who are actually known to have left the UK – found 176,317 – 97.4% – of 181, 024 international students from outside the EEA left on time. This itself is probably an underestimate as others in the remaining 2.6% might have also left but via routes not subject to exit checks, such as via Northern Ireland. Foreign Students are estimated to contribute £25bn to the UK economy and play an important role in supporting the UK University Sector through the high fees they pay. Other countries' more welcoming attitude towards foreign students means that they are growing their numbers far more strongly than the UK. Regards Maddox
Just thought that I'd note that Unite closed at another high - and at an auspicious 888p! Unite is now consistently trading at a premium to EPRA NAV (761p at 30 June). This is justified by the growth trajectory unite is on. They signed three University deals in the last period, namely Aston Student Village, Oxford Brooks and Kings in London. However, they are in discussion on a further six deals (totalling c, 4000 - 6000 beds). Cheers Maddox
Unite hitting a new high at 865p. This follows news of planning approval for 928 bed development in the heart of Leeds bringing their Leeds portfolio up to 4,376. This is bang on Unite's strategy of building scale in locations with high-ranking universities. Leeds is a major university town with a student population of 58,000 with Leeds and Leeds Becket having options on half of Unites' current capacity. Unite shares have advanced 85p (c.11%)so far this year so any shareholder that opted for the scrip dividend at 805p should be feeling pleased. Regards Maddox
Unite returns to the London market for the first time since 2013 with a University Partnership Deal for a 1000 bed development. The advantage of a partnership agreement is that the financial return is underwritten by the University, in this case Kings College. There is a shortage of accommodation for Universities to place their first year and foreign students. So a 'nomination' agreement with Unite to allow the Uni to allocate the beds to their students suits both partners. Regards Maddox
Just want to highlight that I think Unite’s latest (RNS 8 Dec 17) is one of the eight University deals that Unite has under evaluation, part of a new strategic initiative: 'UNITE EXTENDS UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS WITH OXFORD ACQUISITION Unite Students, the UK's leading manager and developer of student accommodation, has exchanged contracts on a development site in Oxford. It has, in parallel, agreed commercial terms with Oxford Brookes University for a 25-year nominations agreement covering the site, which will extend its partnership with Unite to 1,350 beds. Planning consent for the development has been granted subsequent to exchange. The new development is expected to provide 885 new beds and will be delivered for the 2019/20 academic year with total development costs expected to be around £75 million. Anticipated returns are in line with our stated targets for University Partnerships.' This new strategic initiative was revealed at Unite’s recent Capital Markets Day, held significantly at the Aston University Campus. They bought the whole of Aston’s student accommodation, Aston Student Village, in Feb 2017 for £227m. This was the first deal of this nature and could be the spark to consolidation of the sector. This is a very large potential opportunity for Unite as there is nearly as much student property owned by the university sector (280,000 beds) as in the private sector (300,000 beds). Another key piece of news at the Capital Markets Day was that they ‘have eight opportunities totalling 6,000 – 8,000 under active evaluation’. These deals might be either: >> Sale of student property to Unite but with commitments to upgrade and nomination agreements; >> On-campus development in partnership with the university; or >> Off-campus development in partnership with the university, supported by a nomination agreement. The theme of the Capital Markets Day was all about Unite's 'university partnerships’. This supported by the fact that 60% of Unite’s purpose built student accommodation is pre-let to universities to house their first-year students under what are called ‘nomination agreements’. Unite are clearly positioning themselves as the prime candidate for similar deals - for which they are ideally positioned: >> The Aston deal reflects Unite’s access to substantial funding through its co-investment partners (50% of funds came from GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund); >> As the pioneer and largest independent provider of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) Unite's existing scale of operation and infrastructure puts it in a strategically strong position (operating 49,000 beds 2017/18 academic year; and >> They have long-established relationships with universities and are thus a known entity. This last point may be crucial as Unite won the Aston deal at a reasonable initial yield of 5% in a competitive tender process. The universities may not be happy selling to a faceless institution in view of the continuing need for a close working relationship. Other signs that Unite is clearing the decks for action have been: Unite have brought their debt leverage down to 30% giving them plenty of headroom to take on more debt; • A new lower cost £500m unsecured debt facility has been agreed (being unsecured gives great flexibility as to how this debt is deployed); and • Achieved a high investment grade (BBB from Standard & Poor’s and Baa2 from Moody’s) for their debt. Whether or how quickly Unite's strategic aspirations in this new arena are realised is of course uncertain. In the meantime, I’m happy looking at the current secured development pipeline of 6,500 beds through to 2020. Regards Maddox
Nothing to say since July? Thought the fire in Manchester would have caused some postings.
high park
Think its a typo...3 is £ sign on my computer!! If i depress the keys correctly!! As a shareholder for a long time and keen to help others, i saw this today in the Times, so thought i would share.....!
Hi bothdavis, Don't know where you got the £32m figure from? How about editing your post and I'll delete this line in mine. Firstly, and most important from a student safety viewpoint all 132 of Unite's properties have been judged, by local fire and rescue services, to be safe for occupation. However, Unite have 6 buildings out of 132 that have the Grenfall Tower-type aluminium/composite cladding. On four of them it is cosmetic (less than 25%) and two are 75% cladded. Should they need to replace the cladding the estimated cost is £1m - £2m in capital cost and between £0.5m - £1.5m in lost revenue. This is a small financial impact and a small price to pay to ensure their students are safe, Regards, Maddox
Cladding Risk at Student Halls The largest provider of student accomadation may need to close 600 rooms and spend 32 million replacing cladding after the Grenfell Tower fire. Unite, which owns 49,000 beds in 24 cities, said that tests on 132 of its buildings found that six in Bristol, London, Portsmouth and Leeds did not come up to standards. Fire officials concluded that after some alterations the buildings were safe, but a second test was being conducted into the panels. Unite said that if the second test found that the panels needed replacing, it could also result in lost earnings of as much as £1.5 million.
Ahead of the half-year results, due on the 26th July, today we have the Quarterly Fund Valuation Report that gives a good early indication of performance. As well as Unite’s wholly owned student digs Unite run a couple of student property funds of which they own a percentage: The two funds are: USAF – Unite own 23% LSAV – Unite own 50% These funds are independently valued for their large financial institution investors, and the good news is that USAF is up 0.9% and LSAF up 0.5% during the quarter. Also, quoted: ‘Reservations for Unite's portfolio stand at 89% for the coming 2017/18 academic year, compared to 87% at the same time last year, and is supportive of achieving target occupancy of 98% across the portfolio and rental growth of 3.0% - 3.5% for the full year.’ So solid progress is likely to be reported on the 26 July with strong demand and the outlook is positive for the full year. I note Mr Market likes the news and has marked the shares up 11p to 651p as I post. Regards Maddox
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