Locally focused Peabody publishes annual report
We have today published our Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2023.
The annual reports have also been published for Catalyst Housing Limited, Peabody Capital PLC and Peabody Capital No.2 PLC.
This is the first year of Catalyst Housing Limited and its subsidiaries joining the Peabody Group, with the focus on creating a new, locally focused Peabody – closer to our residents and better connected with communities.
Investment in existing homes
We now have 107,449 homes within the Peabody Group. In 2022/23 we invested £179m in improving our homes and spent a further £177m on routine and cyclical maintenance. Together this makes a substantial combined spend of £356m in existing homes during the year. Over the next five years we anticipate spending over £2bn on maintaining and improving our existing homes.
We completed over 256,000 repairs with a satisfaction rating of 83%. We tested boilers and gas appliances in more than 45,850 homes and completed 12,935 electrical safety tests. Our teams carried out safety checks in over 7,000 blocks, inspecting fire doors and emergency lighting and making sure that common areas were kept clear.
Almost 78% of our homes are rated EPC C or above which continues to improve year on year. We secured a further £27.3m in grant to invest in making our homes more energy efficient. We are matching this with £25m to upgrade thousands more homes in the next three years. Further details are set out in our recently published Sustainability Strategy.
Getting closer to residents, customers and communities
We are working hard to improve overall resident satisfaction across the Group. Our increased investment and renewed local focus are starting to make a positive difference and we’re committed to continuous improvement in our services.
Our rents remain substantially below market levels at an average of £127 per week and an annual subsidy of £621m. 17,438 people benefitted from our care and support services in London and the home counties. We supported 443 people into work, provided 546 people with energy advice and invested £10m in community activities across the Group. This included giving £1.1m directly to people in the community to start their own local initiatives.
We also helped 3,526 people with advice and support to improve their skills and 689 people to achieve qualifications. Our annual jobs fair connected more than 1,600 job seekers with 60 employers and a wide range of services and support.
New homes and sustainable places
We invested more than £550m in our new homes programme during the year, completing 2,399 new homes and starting 2,376 more. 78 percent were for social rent and other affordable tenures including shared ownership. We also provided 525 market sale homes to help subsidise the development of much-needed affordable homes and were able to support 469 households to own more of their shared ownership home, generating £81m to be reinvested. With a strong pipeline of top-quality new homes, we’ll continue to do what we can to help tackle the housing crisis through sustainable long-term placemaking.
Surplus for the year
Our operating surplus before changes in investment property valuations was £257m, compared to £213m in 2022. This shows Peabody’s financial resilience, which was further strengthened by the transfer of Catalyst’s £1.8bn net assets on 1 April 2022. This supported our extensive investments in our homes and places in 2022/23.
Our overall operating margin before investment property valuation was 23% compared to 32% in 2022. As we set out in July our operating margins were impacted during the year by challenging economic conditions including high inflation, rising interest rates and labour and material shortages. The reduced margin also reflects increased spending on repairs and maintenance as well as higher sales volumes.
In the autumn we reprofiled the delivery of new homes with partners to prevent exposure to an undue level of risk. We’re prioritising investment in our existing homes and locally focused services. However, we’re also well placed to continue delivering new affordable homes due to careful financial management. We also took decisive steps to hedge our exposure to interest rate rises in the year as an important response to the difficult economic backdrop.
Despite the economic challenges we’ve invested substantially in our existing homes to make them safer, more sustainable and energy efficient and to better meet the needs of our residents. Our operating surplus has been fully reinvested in our homes and our communities and in subsidising new social and affordable homes.
On 1 September 2023 Eustace Xavier was appointed to the Peabody Trust Board and will sit on the Audit & Risk and Finance & Treasury Committees.
On 19 September 2023 Martyn Burke joined the Peabody Trust Board.