Aster retains highest HCA rating

Ethical housing developer and landlord Aster Group’s strong governance and financial viability have been recognised by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The 28,000-home housing provider and developer retained the highest governance and viability ratings, G1 and V1 following the regulator’s recent in-depth assessment.

The HCA’s assessment examines governance, compliance, risk management, financial forecasts and liquidity.

Aster plans to invest £1.5bn over the next seven years to deliver new homes across the South. The HCA’s review follows reaffirmation of Aster’s A+ credit rating last year by Standard and Poor’s (S&P). The agency predicted that Aster is likely to “continue to generate stable operating and financial performance”.

Bjorn Howard, Group CEO at Aster said: “We run our organisation based on the principles of a successful commercial business, allowing us to create profit that can be invested into new developments and into our existing assets, allowing us to uphold the values which underpin our commitment to being an ethical housing provider. In this way, we create both social and economic value in the regions we serve.

“The HCA’s rating is further validation of the success of this model, which has helped us to generate consistent year-on-year revenue growth and earnings, and enables us to deliver a significant new-build programme over the next five years.”

In the year to the end of March 2016, Aster reported record revenues of £179m (2015: £175m), with pre-tax profits of £34m, a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent.