Tenants to benefit as Wheatley reports ‘strengthened’ balance sheet
Steps taken to restructure loan agreements have helped Wheatley Group present a âstrengthenedâ balance sheet and will benefit tenants as well as the lessor’s new construction and investment programs, according to the group’s chief financial officer.
In March of this year, Wheatley took the opportunity to restructure some of its fixed rate loan agreements, moving to lower variable rate agreements while maintaining a balance between fixed and variable rates in accordance with the specified range. in its cash management policy.
Steven henderson, Chief Financial Officer of the Wheatley Group, said Scottish Housing News that the move will reduce future interest costs for the group’s RSLs and improve the financial strength of the business plan going forward.
It follows the publication of Wheatley’s Annual report and consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2021, in which the group revealed an improvement in its balance sheet situation, with gearing – measured by net debt as a percentage of asset value – from 53% to 50%.
The group generated an operating surplus of Â£ 76.7million, up from Â£ 314.8million in 2020, although this figure follows a movement on the valuation of investment property of Â£ 11.6million. pounds sterling and a gain of Â£ 240.9 million on the partnership with DGHP.
The group also reported that despite being forced to suspend its new construction development program for four months in early 2020/21 due to the pandemic, it still managed to produce 413 affordable housing units, including 329 for rent. social and 84 at mid-term. market rent. Work is also underway on 1,186 other homes at 24 sites, the report added.
Wheatley Chair Alastair MacNish, who is due to step down at the group’s AGM this week, said: Goals set in our 2015-21 strategy.
He added: âDespite the severe financial difficulties faced by many clients, the impact on rent arrears has been limited. In fact, the excellent work and careful planning of management and housing and support staff kept rent arrears at the end of the year below 4.5%.
Steven Henderson, Chief Financial Officer of The Wheatley Group, said SHN: âOverall, the results are in line with our expectations and our projects. Steps taken to restructure our loans will reduce our future interest charges and ensure that our rents remain affordable.
âTotal comprehensive income for the year was Â£ 77.5 million, which allowed us to strengthen our balance sheet from Â£ 1.140 billion to Â£ 1.218 billion in net assets.
âIn four of the past five years, Wheatley Group has been named the UK’s largest builder of social rental housing. We are in a strong position to continue to develop thousands of new social rental housing units and to invest in our existing properties. “