Unite Group, the student accommodation provider behind an 800-room develop-ment planned for Selly Oak, has announced a full-year pretax profit jump of 65 per cent.
The Bristol-based company posted £28.13 million in the year to December, up from £17.1 million a year, and said demand remained robust.
Turnover came in at £113.8 million, up from £74.6 million.
Unite said adjusted fully diluted net asset value was 363 pence a share last year as operating profit from its completed portfolio rose 15 per cent to £47 million.
"Results are broadly in line with our expectation, although we think the market will have been looking for more growth in the NAV," analysts at one broker said.
However, finance director Mark Allan - who takes up Unite's chief executive role in November - said the company was satisfied with the performance. "We have now met our targets for three years running," he said.
"Investor interest is strong, with many looking for alternatives to commercial and residential property. With student numbers rising and a shortage of good quality accommodation, this has become an attractive sector."
Mr Allan said he was unconcerned about predictions that university applications were to drop in 2006 - the first year that the new top-up fees system will apply.
"There was a rush last year with students trying to get into university before the system was introduced. In addition, I don't think the Government has done a good job of promoting the benefits of the new fee system, so we would expect a dip this year," Mr Allan said.
"Application figures are still four per cent above the 2004 level, so there is still room for growth," he added.
He said the group had raised £31 million of new cash from shareholders in November to underpin growth and build future developments, resulting in an additional 1,800 beds since then, and was looking to grow by between 5,500 and 6,000 beds a year.
The company - which owns 1,000 rooms in Birmingham city centre and will build 700 more on the former Castle Cement site in Eastside - saw group rental income rise 21 per cent to £81 million from £67 million.
"Birmingham is a strong market for us," Mr Allan said. "We expect to start delivering projects in the city from 2007 onwards."
In a separate announcement, the group also announced it will appoint Mr Allan as chief executive when Nick Porter steps down to become non-executive deputy chairman at the end of the year.
"Nick has led the business from its foundation and established its scale and reputation," Mr Allan said. "I hope to build on his success. With Unite's market share in our core cities at around four per cent, there is still plenty of room for growth."