Aster Group revenues rise in 2019/20

Housing association Aster Group has reported an increase in revenues as it invested  £260m in building new homes and maintaining and improving its existing portfolio in the last financial year.

Turnover at the group rose to £214.6m in the year to 31st March (2019: £211.9m). Pre-tax profits were £59.8m (2019: £55.0m).

Aster invested £197m in building 1,067 new homes in 2019/20. Of these, 524 were for social and affordable rent, 431 were for shared ownership and 112 were for open market sale. A further £63m was invested in improving its existing portfolio of homes and on health and fire safety measures.

During the year Aster strengthened its joint venture partnership with Vistry Group which is set to deliver more than 1,400 houses by 2025.

To date the group has delivered ten Community Land Trust schemes, providing nine new homes in Appledore and 16 in Chagford in the past year.

Through its own land-led programme the group has acquired the land to deliver more than 700 homes and plans to increase its land portfolio over the next few years.

Following the completion of its partnership with Dorset-based housing trust East Boro on 31st March, Aster Group has a portfolio of over 32,000 homes and 1,400 employees. It has £2bn of assets on its balance sheet, including £148m in cash.

With Covid-19 restrictions easing, all Aster’s development partners have now reopened sites and the group expects to build 855 homes in the current financial year.

Bjorn Howard, group CEO, said: “2019/20 was another strong year for Aster Group in which we remained focused on increasing the supply of high-quality affordable homes across the south of England. We continue to leverage our strong balance sheet to be one of the top developers in the sector, ensuring we offer a range of housing choices and services, something that is enhanced by our partnership with East Boro.

“At a time of huge uncertainty for people across the UK, we’re proud of the safe, reliable and modern services that we continue to provide to all our customers.”

Aster has an A+ (stable) rating from Standard & Poor’s and has G1 and V1 ratings from the Regulator of Social Housing.

Bjorn Howard added: “Last year was the second year running that the group completed more than 1,000 properties, fulfilling our core mission of providing more homes for more people.

“As evidenced by our strong credit rating and G1/V1 ratings from the regulator, we believe we’re well-placed to safely navigate the current uncertainty affecting the sector and the wider UK economy and we will continue to play our role in meeting the diverse housing needs of people across the country.”

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