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Medical surgery and student accommodation specialist developers increase earnings

Specialist developers in the medical and student sectors have reported increased earnings on the back of rising demand for doctors’ services and university accommodation.

Doctors’ surgery specialist developer Primary Health Properties has increased earnings by 27.3 per cent to £12.6m, it said in an interim statement for the six months to 30 June 2016.

PHP earlier this year raised £150m to invest in healthcare buildings and bought 19 properties for £54m. The company said it had a strong pipeline of acquisitions and developments for its £1.2bn portfolio.

An ageing population and the government’s plan to enable evening and weekend access to general practitioners’ surgeries meant the sector remained strong, it said.

PHP has this month expanded into the Republic of Ireland with a €6.7m (£5.6m) purchase of a primary care centre.

Managing director Harry Hyman said: “We look forward to continuing our expansion both in the UK and the Republic of Ireland where the increasing demands upon healthcare systems are creating a need for further, modern primary care.

“Despite wider market uncertainty due to the result of the EU referendum, the fundamentals of our market remain favourable and our high-quality portfolio with stable, long-term income means we are well placed to maintain our strong record of growth and progressive dividend policy.”

Meanwhile, student accommodation developer and manager Unite Students has announced earnings up by 22 per cent to £36.1m in half-year results to 30 June 2016.

Unite said it was expecting further growth as student numbers were forecast to reach record levels in the 2016/17 academic year, and that its rental growth was expected to stay in the 3-4 per cent range.

Chief executive Richard Smith said: “The demand/supply outlook for student accommodation remains favourable and our earnings growth trajectory is underpinned by our efficiencies of scale and a high-quality development pipeline, focused on cluster flat accommodation with a lower price point, where the rental growth outlook is strongest.”

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