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Unite Group Posts Pre-tax Loss In FY19; Lifts Dividend - Quick Facts

Unite Group plc (UTG.L) reported Wednesday that its fiscal 2019 loss before tax was 101.2 million pounds, compared to profit before tax of 245.8 million pounds last year. Loss per share was 31.5 pence, compared to earnings of 90.8 pence a year ago.

The loss before tax was primarily the result of the impairment of goodwill and intangibles of 384.1 million pounds, relating to the Liberty Living acquisition.

Profit before tax excluding items related to the Liberty Living acquisition was 305.3 million pounds, up 24 percent from 245.8 million pounds a year ago.

EPRA earnings for the year were 110.6 million pounds, up 25 percent from 88.4 million pounds last year. EPRA earnings per share grew 15 percent to 39.1 pence from 34.1 pence last year.

Rental income increased to 213.9 million pounds from 188.3 million pounds last year. Net operating income rose to 160.8 million pounds from 140.3 million pounds a year earlier.

Like-for-like rental growth was 3.4 percent, compared to growth of 3.2 percent in 2018.

Further, the company declared a final dividend of 22.95 pence to deliver a total dividend of 33.2 pence for the full year, an increase of 14 percent year on year.

Looking ahead, the company projects like-for-like rental growth for 2020/21 of 3.0 percent to 3.5 percent, through increases in utilisation and price.

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