Britain’s largest private landlord grows rental income 45% as it increases stake in sector

Britain’s largest private landlord has posted results showing a 45% growth in rental income to £63.5m and a 30% rise in pre-tax profits to £131.3m, while ramping up a pipeline of 9,000 new rental homes to add to its portfolio in the next few years.

Grainger, the UK’s largest listed provider of private rented housing, said that in the year to the end of this September it has transformed itself into a predominantly private rented sector business.

It has more than doubled the size of its private rental portfolio since setting out its new strategy in 2016, as it steps increasingly into the build to rent sector. Since 2016, it has committed an investment of £1.5bn into new private rental housing.

Over the next year, Grainger plans to deliver another 1,045 rental homes, adding to the 1,152 it delivered this year.

Its schemes include developments in Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield, as well as in London where it has a joint venture with Transport for London involving the creation of 3,000 new rental homes.

Grainger, established in 2012 and with headquarters in Newcastle, has also reported strong sales activity, delivering £67.8m of profits. The firm’s traditional stock was tenanted properties, often on large estates that formerly belonged to the likes of British Rail and British Coal.

Its shares responded yesterday to the results by rising 2% to stand at 282p – a high for this year.

Chief executive Helen Gordon said: “The strategy we set out three years ago to transition Grainger into the UK’s leading private rental home business is delivering strong, sustainable returns to shareholders, ahead of plan.

“With this in mind, I am pleased to say that our pipeline of new investments is stronger than ever, representing an additional 9,000 new PRS homes that we will deliver and add to our portfolio over the coming years.

“This is a doubling of our current portfolio size.”

The results are reflective of what some might describe as a direction of travel in the private rented sector, whereby the last governments have been punishing smaller, traditional private landlords in favour of pushing corporate investment in build to rent.

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