Unite passing its student accommodation exams

Unite is the largest landlord for organising student accommodation. It is expecting that it will hit and even exceed its profit targets for the year, and it has already announced a rise in its net asset value. The company has accommodation across the UK for about 40,000 students and has recently been involved in talks in London to acquire more beds to meet their 2014 target.

Mark Allan is chief executive of the company and has commented, “we are seeing a very strong demand for the coming academic year. We are expecting a significant growth of around 4% and we fully expect our profit this year to be at the top end of what the market expects of us.”

The profit estimate for Unite is around £8.5m but analysts at JP Morgan expect that this figure will be exceeded. Allan continued, “Our business strategy will help us to continue with strong growth as we continue to outperform other players in the student property market. The growth of our London portfolio and our ties to some of the UK’s best universities make the future for Unite very promising.”

Unite has suspended all dividend payments in 2009 and 2010 but recently announced that it will be making a payment in mid-November. Unite has seen profits increase rapidly since last year. Analysts at JP Morgan have commented on the profit rise that, “Unite is showing good growth and more consistency in its expansion, this will help build its credibility in the market.”

Osmaan Malik, one of the analysts at JP Morgan has kept his comments on the stock the same at ‘overweight.’ Currently Unite is working on a reduction and growth programme. It is estimating that it will dispose of assets worth up to £150mn before the end of 2012.