Segro First-Half Profit Rises 51% as Real Estate Values Jump

Segro Plc, the U.K.’s largest publicly traded industrial property owner, said first-half profit rose 51 percent as the value of its real estate increased. Chairman Nigel Rich announced he will step down.

Net income rose to 330 million pounds ($514 million), or 44.4 pence a share, from 218 million pounds, or 29.4 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement Tuesday. The interim dividend was raised 2 percent to 5 pence.

Segro owns and develops industrial and storage properties for industries including parcel delivery and online retail. The company plans to focus its investment on developing properties as it becomes more difficult to purchase assets that meet its return targets, Chief Executive Offer David Sleath said in the statement.

“We have experienced particularly strong demand from parcel delivery companies, third party logistics operators and retailers as economic conditions in our major markets continue to improve,” the CEO said.

First-half net rental income decreased from a year earlier. The vacancy rate increased to 7.4 percent from 6.3 percent. Profit was boosted by a 233.9 million-pound gain from the increase in its property values.

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