Bedford-based housing association BPHA has reported a £34m surplus for the year, 18.8% lower than the previous 12 months, after investing heavily in building new homes.
Its operating margin dipped from 47.2% in 2018 to 42.6% in the year to 31 March 2019, but the landlord said that it had made “historically high” investment of £134m in new and existing homes, and that it completed 621 new affordable homes during the reporting period.
Its turnover was £125m, slightly up from the £117m it reported in 2018, while the value of its housing assets increased by £94m to almost £1.2bn. Around 96% of its turnover, which equated to about £120m, came from social housing activities, it said.
BPHA owns or manages more than 18,500 homes across the Oxford to Cambridge corridor and employs around 400 people.
Earlier in the year, the landlord launched a sales agency to help people search hundreds of properties across housing providers and local authorities to find an affordable home.
During the year it raised £165m of new debt to finance its activities, while also strengthening its balance sheet and improving its gearing from 68% last year to 66% by March. Its long-term debt increased by £43m to £774m.
Kevin Bolt, chief executive of BPHA, said: “BPHA’s financial performance in 2018/19 has
remained strong, despite a number of challenges in the housing market and in the sector generally.
“Our social housing operating margin remains securely above 40%, we have raised new finance
competitively to support the extension of our development programme and have made strong and durable investments in our operational infrastructure.
“All of this was achieved alongside the completion of 621 new homes, which has put BPHA in the top 25 developers in the UK.”
The housing association plans to build 3,000 homes by 2023.