Assura reports active Q1 despite Covid-19 lockdown

Assura CEO Jonathan Murphy

Assura said today that it continued to deliver ‘strategic and financial progress’ across all areas of the business in the first quarter despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a trading update, CEO Jonathan Murphy said the business model remained ‘resilient and robust’ in Q1 with rent received in line with normal patterns and all development sites active in line with social distancing guidelines.

The specialist healthcare REIT had an active Q1, during which it completed two developments at combined cost of £11.9m and progressed five schemes to on-site. In addition, it completed seven acquisitions for a total of £35m and disposed of a portfolio of 20 assets for £17m.

The company said its pipeline remains strong, with 18 developments on site with a total cost of £95m and £60m worth of development expected on-site within the next 12 months. A further £51m of acquisitions are in the immediate pipeline and would normally expect to complete in three to six months.

 ‘Our social purpose – to create outstanding primary care properties that sit at the heart of our local communities – has never been more important than it is today, and we are making good progress with our recently launched sixbysix social impact strategy,’ said Murphy.

‘As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we are working closely with our GP partners to ensure we best support the NHS and respond to evolving market needs as part of the ‘new normal’. Primary care will play a crucial role as the UK seeks to rebuild and recover from the Covid-19 crisis and we are engaging with government to ensure that it remains a key area of investment going forward.’

Assura’s portfolio currently stands at 565 properties with an annualised rent roll of £110.2m. As at 30 June 2020, gross debt was £ 767m with undrawn facilities of £300m.