- Student property company Empiric Student Property said profit increased by more than a third as revenue was boosted by higher occupancy and rental growth.

For the 12 months ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit jumped 36% to £54.8m and revenue rose 11% to £70.9m on-year.

The revenue increase was driven by an increase in number of beds as well as higher occupancy levels and ongoing rental growth, the company said.

The total dividend was unchanged at 5p a share.

The company said it was 'facing into the challenges being posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.'

'As of today, bookings for the 2020/21 academic year are very much in line with the bookings we had taken for the 2019/ 20 at this time last year. The situation is rapidly evolving and it is not yet clear how the student population and University sector will respond to the impact of the virus,' it added.

At 9:12am: [LON:ESP] Empiric Student Property Plc share price was -5.05p at 51.35p

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