A HOUSING association which covers Test Valley is planning another year of major investment after a rise in revenues and profits.

Aster Group plans to invest £55m during the 2019/20 financial year in improving its 30,000 portfolio of homes.

The announcement comes as Aster revealed its pre-tax profit rose to £55m and turnover increasing to £212m to the year to the end of March 2019.

Its financial performance last year allowed Aster to spend £52.5m on renovations, repairs and maintenance of its current homes. It plans to maintain that level over the next 12 months.

The group completed 1,156 homes last year, including 453 for shared ownership – its highest annual total to date – and 600 for social and affordable rent.

Aster confirmed it plans to build another 1,100 new homes in the 2019/20 financial year.

Bjorn Howard, group chief executive, said: “We recognise that investment in maintaining and improving our homes, continuing to invest in health and safety, our colleague offer and customer experience are equally as important as playing our part in delivering the variety and volume of homes the UK needs. Continuing strong financial performance and our not-for-dividend model are why we’re now able to embark on one of our biggest ever years of investment.

“We’re entering a crucial period for the UK and for housing specifically. The need for good-quality, affordable homes has rarely been greater and the decisions we make now on how to address the housing challenges we face, will have an impact for years to come.”