- Healthcare REIT Assura saw continued growth of its portfolio, rents, profit and dividend in the year to the end of March despite political and economic uncertainty.

The group said its property portfolio expanded significantly, through both acquisitions and new developments and it was now the UK's largest developer and owner-manager of primary healthcare property with a property portfolio valued at over £1.3 billion - up from £1.1bn last time.

Other highlights:

- 7.6% growth in diluted EPRA NAV per share to 49.3 pence (2016: 45.8 pence)

- 16.6% increase in rent roll to £74.4 million (2016: £63.8 million)

- 20.0% increase in EPRA EPS to 2.4 pence (2016: 2.0 pence)

- £95.2 million profit before tax (2016: £28.8 million)

- Fully covered dividend increased by 9.8% to 2.25 pence (2016: 2.05 pence)

Chief executive Jonathan Murphy said: "During a period of political and economic uncertainty, Assura has continued to deliver significant growth built on a secure and long-term income stream.

"Following the Naylor review, it is clear that mainstream thinking is strongly in favour of further investment in primary care premises.

"That's why it is encouraging to see both the Conservatives and Labour making commitments to improve NHS buildings in the next parliament.

"Further to this, it is encouraging to see focus right across the political spectrum on providing better access to General Practice and innovative services in the community that better meet patients' needs.

"We now need firm timetables and funding to create the required space, and if we have this Assura is well placed to help primary care plans become reality."

At 8:01am: [LON:AGR] Assura Group Ltd share price was +0.43p at 59.43p

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