Aster to invest £570m as revenues rise

  • Turnover rises 7% in 2022 to £241m
  • Group plans to invest £570m over next seven years to enhance homes
  • Reaffirms commitment to investing £2.4bn to build over 11,200 homes by 2030

 Aster Group has reported turnover of £241m in its past financial year as it revealed plans to invest over £550m in improving its homes and services.

The housing association, which owns and manages over 35,000 homes across the south of England, said revenues in the 12 months to March 2022 rose by 7% year-on-year through a combination of rental income from inflationary increases and new developments and London based Central and Cecil (C&C) joining the Group.

Aster plans to invest £570m by 2030 in enhancing its stock and IT to improve the services it provides to customers and make its homes more sustainable. The Group, which is currently conducting a comprehensive stock condition survey of all its homes, spent £69m on repairs and maintenance across its portfolio in 2021/22.

The Group has reaffirmed its commitment to investing £2.4bn in building 11,200 houses by 2030, including over 1,300 new affordable homes in its current financial year. Last year it completed 939 new properties of which 768 were affordable.

In 2021/22 Aster reported operating profit of £76m (2021: £73m). Profit for the year was £172m (2021: £46m), including the gain of £119.4m made on acquisition of C&C into the Group. C&C has a portfolio of homes across London and provides housing and supported living services. Aster now has £2.1bn of assets on its balance sheet.

Bjorn Howard, Aster’s Group chief executive officer, said: “Our financial results for 2021/22 reflect us playing our part in tackling the UK’s housing shortage by building quality, affordable homes while also investing to enhance our current portfolio.

“That said, we are acutely aware of the challenges being faced by our customers in the form of higher prices and a darkening economic picture. As we did during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing all we can to support them through these difficult times, connecting them with our financial wellbeing team and offering advice with budgeting and managing welfare support payments. We’re also focused on innovating and evolving how we deliver wider societal impact, and ramping up to the programme of volunteering and community projects we carry out through the Aster Foundation.”

Last year Aster secured official charity status for the Aster Foundation – the division of the Group that oversees its volunteering and community work. The Group continued its work as a progressive employer, becoming one of the UK’s first employers to achieve Menopause Friendly Employer status. It was also the first organisation outside of the UK criminal justice system to be given Restorative Organisation Status by the Restorative Justice Council and is  an accredited Disability Confident Leader.

Bjorn added: “We remain committed to our growth ambitions, considering strategic mergers in specific areas when appropriate. We are passionate about our vision that ‘everyone has a home’ and will do all we can to develop more properties across a range of affordable tenures to provide choice and security in the market, as well as build homes for sale on the open market so we can reinvest in our business.

“Our people will always be core to our success in delivering our vision. It’s therefore crucial that we evolve as a progressive employer, rewarding our people and attracting and retaining the very best talent to help us deliver our ambitious strategy. This will be vital to ensuring we continue to provide modern, reliable services for our customers.”

Aster builds and maintains homes for social and affordable rent along with shared ownership via Section 106, land-led schemes, joint ventures and regeneration of its own estate. It is also one of the UK’s leading housing association partners in delivering Community Land Trust housing.

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