Student housing creates profit boost

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Leading student accommodation provider, Unite Group, has doubled its profits and dividend for the first six months of the year.

The company, which provides homes for 3,701 students in eight properties across Sheffield, said recurring profits from operations increased from £7.2 million on 14.4 million for the six months to the end of June.

Unite increased its interim dividend from 0.5p to 1p.

Chief executive Mark Allan said: “During the first half of 2012, the business has built on the strong operational momentum created in 2011.

“High occupancy, solid rental growth and cost efficiencies have underpinned a further significant improvement in the group’s profitability. The healthy level of forward reservations and the successful completion of our 2012 development pipeline suggests this will be maintained for the full year.

“Demand for UK University places, and consequently accommodation, continues to be strong and UNITE remains well placed for the future.”