Ashtenne raises interim dividend 5.2% as profit more than doubles (UK)

Property investment group Ashtenne Holdings plc said it is raising its interim dividend 5.2% as it announced pre-tax profits more than doubled to £23.2m in the first half to 30 June from £9.18m a year earlier.

Turnover rose to 16.8 mln stg from 10.2 mln.

Looking ahead, chairman James Hambro said: 'Whilst the property investment market is strong, we are likely to continue our focus on realising value from our properties.'

He said the company is still looking for acquisitions - both of companies and property and land - but he added: 'Our view, however, is that the opportunities for significant corporate or portfolio purchases will be limited in the short term and we do not expect significant transactions until market conditions change.'

After the end of the first half, Ashtenne completed the sale of a portfolio of properties to the Ashtenne Industrial Fund for 132.5 mln stg, which generated a pretax profit of about 30 mln stg.

The group has also announced it plans to return about 142 mln stg of cash to shareholders and to do a 1-for-2 share consolidation.
Source: Freeman

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