Student accommodation giant Unite has said it will operate a reduced programme of summer business in 2020 given the risk of disruption to bookings due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unite Students accommodation at Grand Central in Liverpool

Unite Students accommodation at Grand Central in Liverpool

In an update this morning the group said the removal of variable costs associated with its summer business will help to mitigate the impact on earnings. The group added the impact would not be significant as its summer business accounted for just 3% of rental income in 2019.

The company added there had been no noticeable impact to date on its sales performance for the 2020/21 academic year. 

It said: “Reservations are currently 77% (77% at the same time last year) and sales to and enquiries from international students remain in line with prior years.”

Regarding actions it has taken to react to the outbreak, the group added: “The company continues to operate all of its properties and has implemented advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. We are in active dialogue with our university partners and will continue to provide our students with support and access to the most up-to-date information.”