LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Grainger, Britain's largest listed private landlord posted a 9 percent rise in annual gross net asset value and swung to a profit over the year.
The company, which owns and manages properties across the United Kingdom and Germany, on Thursday said its gross net asset value rose to 242 pence per share from 223 pence over the year to Sept. 30.
It booked pretax profits of 64.3 million pounds ($103.4 million) over the year, compared to a loss of 1.7 million pounds last year, and cut its net debt by 235 million pounds to 959 million pounds.
The profit rise came as a result of efforts to reduce its debt, it said, adding that it was well positioned to take advantage of changes in the country's housing market.
Fees from co-invested and co-maanged vehicles and other income rose by 17 percent to 12.9 million pounds. It also paid out a final dividend of 1.46 pence per ordinary share, up from 1.37 pence in the previous year.
Grainger has traditionally specialised in buying regulated tenancies from landlords, whereby it generates income from rents and also makes a profit on selling the property once the home is vacated.
In recent years it has also increased its focus on becoming a rental landlord, taking advantage of the rising trend of Britons being forced to rent rather than own their own homes due to a shortage of houses and mortgages.
Grainger said government efforts to help Britons buy homes through the Help to Buy scheme, as well as to boost development in the rental sector through the Build to Rent fund, were helping to strengthen the market, but said more homes needed to be built to avoid excessive house price inflation.
Shares in Grainger closed at 197 pence on Wednesday, valuing it at 815.52 million pounds.
($1 = 0.6219 British pounds)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Rhys Jones) Keywords: GRAINGER/RESULTS
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