Unite’s half-year profit drops as dividend rises

Student accommodation firm Unite has reported a 12% fall in first-half profit owing to a lower level of property valuation gains, but its underlying earnings rose and it increased its dividend. Unite posted an interim dividend of 10.25p per share, marking an 8% increase on last year. Its EPRA net asset value per share rose by 4% during the period, while EPRA earnings rose by 16% to £61.2m. The firm said its £1.4bn merger with Liberty Living will a combined company with £7bn of assets and 75,000 beds. Unite agreed to buy student housing provider Liberty Living’s UK assets from