Davy tips Ires Reit as ready for renewed outperformance

Ires Reit CEO Margaret Sweeney

Ellie Donnelly

The stock of Ireland's largest private landlord, Ires Reit, looks ready to outperform, according to analysts at Davy Stockbrokers.

Ires has been impacted by a number of issues this year, including talk of a rent freeze, political uncertainty following the general election, and the coronavirus.

Its share price is currently 25pc below its 52-week high, one of the largest declines in its peer group, according to Colin Grant of Davy.

But a government is expected to be formed over the summer, the focus of housing policy has shifted towards the delivery of social and affordable units, and the economy is starting to re-open, he said in an analyst note.

Housing supply is expected to be well below demand levels for the year - prior to Covid-19 there was a need for around 35,000 housing units to be delivered this year. However, a number of industry experts have predicted that fewer than 18,000 new homes will be completed in 2020.

"Ires has one of the lowest 2019 price-to-earnings ratios in its peer group but one of the highest earnings growth profiles in 2020/2021, which is an anomalous combination, and its 85pc dividend payout is attractive," Mr Grant said.

"There are opportunities to sustain its growth trajectory in the fragmented and undeveloped Irish private rented sector market following the acquisitions announced last year."

Ires - led by CEO Margaret Sweeney - controls more than 3,700 residential units, primarily in Dublin. Its average monthly rent in 2019 was €1,596.

The company generated €50.5m in net rental revenue in 2019, and made a profit of €86.3m.

The profit figure was down from €119.8m in 2018.

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.

Shares in the company were down 1.4pc in Dublin yesterday afternoon.

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