Developer posts 67% increse in profit as it announces plans for 4,000 student rooms in London

Student accommodation giant Unite has signalled its intention to push on with building projects, announcing it will deliver more than 4,000 rooms in London over the next two years.

The group indicated a heavy spend in London compared to the rest of the UK, with a construction budget of £264m for the capital, compared to £93m for other regions.

In strong half-year results, Unite also posted profits up 67% to £7.2m. It said a steady influx of foreign students attracted to London universities will continue to drive demand.

The firm said: “The London market continues to benefit from a huge supply/demand imbalance, with universities providing only 20,000 beds for a total of 280,000 students.

“Private companies currently provide approximately 25,000 student beds in addition, with a development pipeline of a further 13,000 new beds likely to be completed by 2014.”

“Even with the additional beds in this pipeline, the level of supply in London will still be roughly half of the rest of the UK with 2.8 students per available bed space compared to 1.5 per bed space across the remainder of the country.”

Chief executive Mark Allan said: “As the shape of changes to university funding becomes clearer, we remain confident that we are positioned to deliver resilient performance and outperform the wider student accommodation sector as a result of our London focus, the high quality of our portfolio and university relationships and our established brand platform.”