Primary Health Properties is a long-term investor in primary healthcare property in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Assets are mainly long-let to GPs and the NHS or the HSE, organisations backed by the UK and Irish governments respectively.
Primary Health Properties’ (PHP’s) H122 adjusted EPS increased 9.7% y-o-y, adjusted NTA per share by 3.5% to 120.8p and the adjusted NTA total return was 6.3%. PHP is on track to achieve its 6.5p annual target, its 26th year of unbroken DPS growth. Higher earnings were driven by growth in rental income and refinancing measures that lowered average debt cost. Costs were affected by inflation and investment in the operating platform, but the EPRA cost ratio remains the lowest in the REIT sector. In part due to inflation, rents are rising at an accelerating pace while 95% of debt costs are fixed/hedged. LTV of 43.1% remained well within PHP’s 40–50% target, above the mainstream commercial sector reflecting the security and visibility of cash flows. Despite ample liquidity and a strong investment pipeline, given financial market uncertainties, PHP is being prudent and selective about which projects to pursue. We forecast continued earnings and dividend growth.
Income visibility is strong, with long leases and upwards-only rents, 89% backed directly or indirectly by government bodies, little exposed to the economic cycle, or occupancy fluctuation. Health and social care planning suggests strong underlying demand for modern healthcare properties in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.