We announce our A+ stable credit rating
We're celebrating the release of our credit rating which sees us maintain our A+ rating and confirms the December 2019 improvement to a stable outlook.
The rating, carried out by global credit rating agency Standard and Poor's, comes as a result of a professional analytical assessment of our financial and operating position.
A stable A+ rating is an investment grade and means an organisation has strong capacity to meet financial commitments. With certainty around Brexit now confirmed, the economic conditions and circumstances have become stable, meaning the risk of default for investors is very low.
In the report published, Standard and Poor's stated: “Our view is that PCH is likely to perform in line with our base-case scenario of solid operational performance, low levels of debt, and robust liquidity, underpinned by adequate government funding secured to address fire safety at high rises.”
Nick Jackson, Director of Business Services and Development, said: “Achieving A+ with a stable outlook is a good credit rating in the housing association sector and is an independent validation of our continued financial strength. This couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work, commitment and innovation of all our staff and the leadership and effective decision-making of our Board of Directors.
“We have worked continuously to retain our social values whilst being more commercial in our business activities. This includes completing the vital cladding replacement work on the Mount Wise Towers with financial support from the Government and a significant programme of investment in modernising low level accommodation blocks across Plymouth.
“This is balanced with our ambitious development programme of new homes at an affordable rent in Plymouth and the surrounding area, an increase in shared ownership homes and plans for limited open market sales to provide financial support to the programme.
“We continue to work to a Board-agreed financial framework which allows the freedom to achieve our operational and strategic objectives within clearly defined parameters, in particular limiting the amount of open market sales exposure we will take.”
Since transfer in 2009, we've been regenerating the North Prospect estate in Plymouth with the support of Plymouth City Council and Homes England.
The size and scale of the regeneration is pretty unique in England and has received local and national attention and support. Its continued success is evident in the number of residents choosing to remain in the area, the reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour and the sense of community that has been created through a truly mixed tenure neighbourhood.
Mr Jackson added: “Now coming towards its final phase there still remains some government funding to be secured but plans for completion in the near term support the credit rating.”
In our five year Strategic Business Plan, we outline an ambition to build 600 new homes in Plymouth and the surrounding areas by 2022 and have so far completed 411 homes against this target.
Mr Jackson concludes: “The refinancing exercise we carried out three years ago means we’ve secured favourable terms on the loans we currently have and our low gearing (the amount of debt per property we own) means that we have the financial flexibility to borrow when needed. “As an organisation with some of the lowest social rents in the country, we’ve carefully focussed our resources on activities that will achieve the maximum benefits for our residents and the city, whilst securing our financial future.
“This rating reflects our ability to bring investment into Plymouth and the surrounding areas which will enable us to fulfil our ambitions and assist trusted partners in achieving theirs.”