Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Private Rented Sector Is Key: New Landlord Chief; PROPERTY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Private Rented Sector Is Key: New Landlord Chief; PROPERTY

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE new chief executive of Newcastle-based residential landlord Grainger plc has announced plans to invest more than PS850m into private rented sector assets as part of a bold strategy to drive up income.

Helen Gordon took on the top job at the UK's largest listed residential landlord at the end of 2015 and since then has carried out a full review of the company.

Andrew Cunningham, the company's current chief executive, will retire following its annual general meeting in February.

In a market note to shareholders, Mrs Gordon announced a strategy update, detailing key themes around which action will be taken to take advantage of the "compelling" PRS (private rented sector) market.

Among moves to achieve that target, heavy investments are pledged, as well as divesting two divisions. She said: "Since joining Grainger on November 3, I have worked closely with our team, undertaking a deep review of every aspect of the business.

"I have been hugely impressed with the unrivalled knowledge and expertise our people have and the platform that has been developed.

"Our high-quality regulated tenancy portfolio provides an excellent foundation from which we can grow our offering of private rented sector (PRS) homes.

"However, it is clear that swift and decisive action is required to capitalise on the compelling PRS market opportunity and to enable Grainger to realise its potential of being the UK's leading private landlord. We will transition to one highly focused business that will deliver improved and sustainable, rental asset-led shareholder returns."

As part of the "grow rents" theme, the group will accelerate the acquisition of existing and newly built rental homes, re-allocate development team resources to deliver new PRS stock and refocus the acquisitions team "to improve access and conversion of PRS opportunities". …

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