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30 Jun 2020 | 09:32

Civitas raises dividend target, NAV grows

(Sharecast News) - Real estate investment trust Civitas Social Housing slightly upped its FY dividend target on Tuesday following a small increase to the group's net asset value. In the year ended 31 March, Civitas delivered a total return to shareholders of 20.4%, an increased net asset value of 107.87, up from 107.08, a new dividend target of 5.4p, up from 5.0p, and a run-rate dividend cover of 100%.

The FTSE 250-listed group said net rental income had increased by 28.4% to £45.9m and pre-tax profits were up 89.9% to £37.7m. Operating cash flow meanwhile jumped 41.0% to £32.9m, while Civitas' loan to value ratio stood at 27% at the year-end.

Civitas highlighted that it had spent £31m on acquiring 22 properties with 144 tenancies throughout the year, while also noting that it had exchanged contracts on a small number of other properties for subsequent completion and entered into forward purchase agreements for a number of newly developed higher acuity facilities in Wales.

The firm also stated that with its mandate expanded to include the National Health Service and charities as counterparties, it now saw a significant pipeline of investment opportunities from a variety of sources, meaning an equity fundraise was now likely to help it fund future moves.

Civitas stated that Covid-19 cases amongst tenants and staff remained low.

As of 0930 BST, Civitas shares were up 1.30% at 109.0p.
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