- GCP Student Living posts a pre-tax profit of GBP17.0m for the six months to the end of December - up from GBP11.9m last time.

The Company has generated operating profit before valuation gains of GBP4.2 million. The company’s basic EPS for the period was 11.9 pence and adjusted EPS was 2.05 pence. Total net assets have increased from GBP137.7 million at 30 June to GBP275.6 million, increasing EPRA NAV per ordinary share by 9.8 pence to 135.35 pence at 31 December.

Chairman Robert Peto said: “I am pleased to report a period of strong performance and growth. The Company acquired three further high–quality properties in September 2015, doubling the size of the Company’s investment portfolio to c£400m over the period. The Company has paid dividends of 2.82 pence per share in respect of the six month period to 31 December 2015 and delivered a total shareholder return over that period of 7.8%.

"The removal of the student cap for the 2015/16 academic year has increased the supply/demand imbalance in markets with well-regarded Higher Education Institutions and strong international student numbers, with UCAS data showing a record intake of undergraduates entering UK higher education.

"The Directors are confident of continued investor interest in the student accommodation sector because of its defensive income qualities as well as the prospect for continued income growth, against a backdrop of wider equity market instability and investor concerns over the sustainability of UK equity dividends. The Board remains focused on growing rental income to ensure that the Company continues to deliver an attractive total return and grow its dividend over time.”

At 9:14am: [LON:DIGS] GCP Student Living Plc share price was +0.25p at 136p

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