A&J Mucklow Group plc said rental income from investment properties for the six months to Dec 31 2003 was lower at £9.47m from £10.36m, largely due to the loss of £3.64m per annum of income, following the disposal of 10 investment properties in October 2003.
On a like-for-like basis, additional income from rent reviews and new leases marginally increased the rent roll during the period.
Mucklow said that, with forecasts for an improving economy, strong demand for investment properties looks set to continue. However, the group has not yet witnessed any improvement in the occupier market and unless there are significant reductions in the high levels of vacant space nationally, the board said there is unlikely to be any rental growth for a while.
Mucklow´s pretax profit before exceptionals for the six months to end-Dec rose to 9.05 mln stg from 6.77 mln and the net asset value at the end of the half-year was 351 pence, up from 342 pence. These figures exclude the profit on sale of investment properties and the premium paid on redemption of debenture stock.
The board increased the dividend by 7.4 pct to 5.4 pence from 5.03 pence.
Source: Freeman News