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29 Mar 2021

Regional REIT

Company Notes

Economic recovery play with attractive 8.2% yield

Regional REIT, which was launched in November 2015, aims to invest in, actively manage and dispose of regional core and core plus property assets. It is targeting a NAV total return of greater than 10% per annum, predominantly driven by income. Last year, the Board undertook an internal strategic review of the fund’s investment objectives, with the outcome being that it will now focus its investment solely on properties in the office sector in the main regional centres of the UK outside of the M25 motorway. The fund will in due course seek to exit all other commercial property sector investments, while promptly recycling the capital into regional offices. At 31 December 2020, offices represented 83.5% of the portfolio by value, with 11.1% in industrial assets, 4.1% in retail properties and 1.3% in other sectors.

In the year to 31 December 2020 Regional REIT’s EPRA NTA per share fell by 12.4% from 112.6p to 98.6p, while the IFRS NAV per share decreased by 13.0% from 112.1p to 97.5p. In the period from its IPO in November 2015 to the end of 2020, the fund delivered an annualised EPRA total return of 6.2%. Overall, on a like-for-like basis, the portfolio value decreased by 7.2% in 2020, driven by negative sentiment towards the office sector in light of the pandemic and the associated changes to working practices.

To date the fund has collected 96% of rent relating to 2020, with a further 0.5% due to be paid under monthly rents and deals agreed on an additional 1.6%. EPRA earnings per share in 2020 were 6.5p, down 16.7% from 7.8p in 2019. Quarterly dividends totalling 6.4p per share have been declared in respect of the year, representing a 22.4% decrease on the prior year.