| 12 August 2019
Summary: Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTVH) has published its first set of annual accounts, showing a financially strong group with an increasing capacity to deliver more.
The social landlord spent £361m acquiring land and building new homes in the 2018/19 financial year (2017/18: £299m). In the same period, it delivered 1,037 new homes (2017/18: 940), nearly 90 per cent of which were affordable – comprising 192 for social rent, 143 for affordable rent and 572 for shared ownership.
As well as building new homes, MTVH continued to invest in maintaining and improving its existing residents’ homes, spending £118m in the financial year.
Under the partnership, which commenced in October 2018, the organisation reshaped the structure of its combined debt, agreeing a new fit-for-purpose covenant suite – and releasing around £800m of new borrowing capacity. This places MTVH in a strong position as it scales up its development programme.
Key financial metrics were broadly flat or down marginally in the year: group turnover was £411m (2017/18: £414m), underlying operating surplus was £154m (2017/18: £162m) and underlying operating surplus was 36% (2017/18: 38%). This performance reflects the combination of a slower selling market and MTVH’s continued investment in its stock.
Core lettings performance was similarly consistent and in line with expectations – with turnover up to £288m (2017/18: £280m) and operating margin at 34% (2017/18: 36%) as the housing association absorbed another year of the 1% rent reduction settlement.
Doing more for customers is a central commitment of the new group, which has a new customer experience strategy in place and a delivery plan to responsively redesign services around the needs of customers. Other customer-focused work includes ongoing performance and efficiency reviews of the organisation’s customer contact centre and the planned roll-out of a new digital platform for customer services.
Ian Johnson, Chief Financial Officer at MTVH, said: “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved so far in a relatively short period of time. As a new, more resilient group, we’ve delivered more than a thousand new homes, and invested in the safety and condition of our existing properties, as well as our long-term financial strength.
“Our integration plans are firmly on track, and our business transformation continues as we maintain our focus on the partnership’s key strategic objective of improving the services we provide to our customers.”