Ires Reit, Ireland’s largest private landlord, has seen its rental income jump 30pc in the first six months of this year.
Rental income for the period was €29.6m up from €22.7m in June 2019 on the back of acquisitions, which increased the scale of the portfolio by 35pc.
In addition, it benefitted from organic rental growth.
The group’s net rental margin - that is the share of rent kept after costs such as maintenance - remained strong at 79.2pc, but is down slightly on the same period last year.
The slight decrease in margin is due to higher bad debt and vacancy expenses compared to previous years, mainly resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, according to interim results from the group.
Ires Reit's apartment blocks range from the super high-end Marker apartments at Grand Canal Square in the Dublin docks and the Elm Park development close to St Vincent's Hospital and RTÉ in Dublin 4, to modern developments in Tallaght, Finglas and Inchicore.
Since March its occupancy rate has remained strong at approximately 98.9pc.
Monthly rent collections have “remained resilient” since the onset of Covid-19 at 98.4pc, which is marginally lower compared to previous years.
“Rental demand has remained strong and we continue to see demand levels in line with pre-Covid-19 levels,” the company said.
Despite the increase in income, Ires made a loss of €10.8m for the period.
Ires intends to declare an interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share for the six months ended June 30, an increase of 1.8pc on the same period last year.
Margaret Sweeney, CEO of Ires Reit, said the results “demonstrate the strong resilience of the business.”
“Looking forward, while social and economic uncertainty is likely to continue due to Covid-19, I believe the ongoing supply constraints and resilient demand drivers for housing in Ireland will underpin the performance of the company for the remainder of the financial year and beyond.”
Total gearing, which is the relationship of a company’s debt to equity, at June 30 was 42.9pc, which Ires said is within its limit of 50pc and debt financial covenant.
Ires Reit’s portfolio had a 1.95pc fair value decrease at June 30 arising from an adjustment mainly due to lower forecasted rental income in the short-term and decreases in developmental land values and commercial components of the portfolio, according to the results.