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Segro Profit Gains 8.4% on Reduced Industrial Property Vacancies

Segro Plc, the U.K.’s largest publicly traded owner of industrial properties, said full-year earnings excluding items rose 8.4 percent as the company reduced vacancies and costs.

Profit excluding changes in property values and one-time items rose to 136.6 million pounds ($216 million), or 18.4 pence a share, from 126 million pounds, or 17.1 pence, a year earlier, the Slough, England-based company said in a statement today. Net asset value declined 9.8 percent from six months earlier to 340 pence a share, Segro said.

Earnings exceeded the 17.5 pence a share average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer David Sleath plans to sell 1.6 billion pounds of real estate to help reduce debt and focus the company on more profitable properties close to major transportation hubs or large cities across Europe.

Segro gained 5.9 pence, or 2.5 percent, to 236.7 pence in London yesterday. The shares are the second-best performer of the 11 stocks forming the FTSE 350 Real Estate Investment Trust Index, advancing more than 13 percent this year compared with an 8.9 percent gain for the index as a whole.

Segro sold five industrial estates in southern England to funds run by Ignis Asset Management for 80.2 million pounds, according to a statement yesterday.

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