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.
PHP’s recent interim results showed strong underlying progress enhanced by a first-time contribution from MedicX (for three and a half months) and early achievement of the targeted merger operating synergies. H119 adjusted EPRA earnings increased by 63% to £27.9m and EPS by 13% to 2.8p. Dividends increased by 3.7%, the 23rd year of growth, fully covered by adjusted EPRA earnings, and the company is well on target to meet its full year DPS target of 5.6p. Adjusted EPRA NAV per share was little changed at 115.2p and including dividends paid the adjusted EPRA NAV total return was 2.8% or a little more than 4% excluding c 1.4p of negative merger related effects. Accelerating rental growth, ongoing asset management initiatives, a strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities and capital resources to fund these all bode well for future growth in recurring earnings and dividends. Additionally, a significant medium-term refinancing opportunity exists as the larger group benefits from improved borrowing terms.
Healthcare planning, with broad political support, suggests strong underlying demand for modern healthcare properties in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to providing investment opportunities, this seems likely to support rental growth.