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Workspace raises its dividend even though most occupants get rent discount

The flexible office space provider is preparing its spaces with safety measures ahead of occupants returning to work

Workspace Group PLC - Workspace raises dividend though most occupants got rent discount

Workspace Group PLC (LON:WKP) has raised its final dividend to maintain its real estate investment trust status despite most customers receiving a rent cut in its latest quarter.

The office space group proposed a final dividend of 24.49p per share for the year to March, up from 22.26p a year earlier and representing a 10% increase in the total distribution to 36.16p per share.

READ: Workspace cuts rents by 50% to help tenants through coronavirus crisis

The London-focused landlord, which did not get financial support from the government, collected 70% of the rent net of discounts and deferrals due for the quarter to June 30.

Three-quarters of customers got a 50% rent reduction until the end of the month, as well as rent deferrals on a case by case basis.

The flexible office provider is preparing its spaces with safety measures ahead of occupants returning to work.

In the year to March 31, net rental income rose 10% to £122mln, while the net asset value per share was flat at £10.89 because of the pandemic.

"We believe Workspace serves a more attractive long-term growth area of the office market as occupational behaviour continues to evolve towards shorter, more flexible leases," analysts at house broker Liberum commented.

Shares rose 3% to 812p on Friday morning.

--Adds analyst's comment, shares--

Quick facts: Workspace Group PLC

Price: 621 GBX

LSE:WKP
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.12 billion
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