State's biggest private landlord sees income rocket 18pc to €22.7m
Ireland's biggest private landlord, Ires Reit, has seen its rental income increase 18pc to €22.7m in the first half of this year, boosted by rising rents and acquisitions.
Average rents charged by the group increased 3.8pc to €1,598 per month during the period.
The increase is just under Government-imposed rent caps of 4pc in places worst hit by the housing crisis.
Ires set up here after the crash, buying up almost 3,000 homes in Dublin, mainly by snapping up entire apartment blocks, and is now the country's biggest private sector landlord.
Its portfolio ranges from the super high-end Marker apartments at Grand Canal Square in Dublin's docks and Elmpark, close to St Vincent's Hospital and RTÉ in Dublin 4, to modern developments in Tallaght and Inchicore in Dublin, and Harty's Quay in Cork.
Overall operating income at Ires was €27.8m during the period, up 15pc year-on-year.
Reits (real estate investment trusts), including Ires, are a special type of company, they can only invest in property but benefit from reduced taxation - including not having to pay corporation tax on rental profits or the standard capital gains on asset sales.
Net rental income margin - that is the share of rent kept after costs such as maintenance - improved to 81.6pc from 80.3pc. This is higher than industry average because Ires can keep costs in-house and benefits from its scale.
Earlier this year, Ires Reit paid close to €14m for 52 apartments at the Coast, in Baldoyle, Dublin 13. Along with the recently announced acquisition of Marathon's 815 units, the group's portfolio will increase to 3,884 units.
Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires Reit, said: "Since Ires was established in 2007, we have invested a total of €1bn in the Irish housing market resulting in an overall supply of 3,884 professionally managed units."
Ms Sweeney added the group's long-term commitment to the market is now "well established" and "underpinned for future growth".
"The strategy we are deploying is delivering both for our shareholders and for the Irish economy," she said.
Meanwhile, EPRA Earnings - a measure of the underlying operating performance of an investment property company - increased 17.7pc to €15.3m from €13m.
Despite the increase in income, the group's half-year profit fell to €34m from €69.5m.
The profit includes a €22.5m increase in the fair value of its investment properties. Last year the increase in the fair value of the properties was €57m.
Chairman Declan Moylan said the board believes "the positive economic outlook for Ireland and the property market will lead to continuing growth of the private residential rental sector and delivery of our growth strategy".
Directors' remuneration, including pension costs and other benefits, increased to €721,000 from €694,000.