Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Landlord Upbeat about Market Opportunities; HOUSING Coreena Ford? 0191 201 6331 ? Coreena.Ford@ncjmedia.Co.UK

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Landlord Upbeat about Market Opportunities; HOUSING Coreena Ford? 0191 201 6331 ? Coreena.Ford@ncjmedia.Co.UK

Article excerpt

Byline: Coreena Ford

DIRECTORS of the UK's largest residential landlord have said the firm is taking advantage of an optimistic mood in the UK housing market after announcing strong financial performance in its half-yearly results.

Newcastle-based Grainger plc said it is well-positioned for future growth after forming strategic alliances with key partners, including the creation of a joint venture with London-based Dorrington earlier this month, a move which reduced its net debt from PS1.15bn in March to PS1.08bn by May 13.

The firm, which has 60% of its portfolio in London and the Sou1th East, said it is on course to reduce net debt to PS1bn by the year-end.

The company also said it continues to outperform the valuation market with a 3% increase in its UK residential portfolios compared to an average rise of 1.6% in Nationwide and Halifax measures.

Grainger said it had played an important role in working with the Government to help support the emergence of an institutionallybacked private rented sector and a build-to-rent sector, as well as taking advantage of new opportunities in this area as the market develops and new Government initiatives take effect.

Several schemes have been put forward for funding through the Government's Build to Rent Equity Fund, which have been put through to the second round of due diligence.

PROGRESS Andrew The business, which has entered new strategic alliances with APG, Heitman and Dorrington during the period, reported pre-tax profit of PS11m, down from PS15.1m, but chief executive Andrew Cunningham said the figure was skewed by the sale of a PS10m home last year.

Cunningham said: "We have made good progress against our strategic objectives in this period.

"Alongside reducing our debt, our reversionary assets, whose liquidity and value are continuously validated by sales, continue to generate cash and profit. …

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