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Positive momentum continues at Unite

Student accommodation group Unite Group said positive momentum continued between March and May with 75 per cent of rooms already let for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Student accommodation group Unite Group said positive momentum continued between March and May with 75 per cent of rooms already let for the 2013/2014 academic year.

That compares to 62% at the beginning of March 2013 and 72% at the same point in 2012.

"This underpins continued confidence in our rental growth guidance of 3% for the full year," the Bristol based firm said.

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Unite said its asset disposal programme on track with £11m of sales completed at prices supportive of book value and a further £32m under offer. The majority of these disposals relate to wholly owned assets.

The group said it continues to focus on three clear strategic priorities; to continue growing recurring profit and cash flow through rental growth, portfolio activity and cost savings; to establish a sustainable capital structure; and to bolster its portfolio.

Unite said the demand outlook for student accommodation is robust and there are clear signs of enhanced investor appetite in the sector which should underpin investment yields.

"The outlook for development activity remains compelling and, although the London development market place is increasingly competitive, we are starting to see a small number of specific regional locations offering appealing opportunities on a highly selective basis."

Unite bought a £13.9m 378-bed development in Huddersfield, with planning consent already granted, for 2014 delivery. The asset is expected to add £4.4m to NAV over the next two years and achieve a 10% yield on cost.

Shares were up 0.91% at 367.30p on Monday at 08:40.

CJ

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