Source - Alliance News

LondonMetric Property PLC on Thursday announced an increased dividend and said revenue rose in its latest half-year, as it remained ‘active and opportunistic’ despite a difficult market.

The London-based real estate investor reported a pretax profit of £81.6 million for the half-year that ended on September 30, compared with a £243.6 million loss the year before.

LondonMetric said the change reflected EPRA earnings rising 5.8% to £53.1 million, a £3.3 million property valuation gain following the prior year’s £296.4 million loss, and a £23.3 million price discount from its acquisition in August of CT Property Trust Ltd.

Revenue increased 7.4% to £77.2 million from £71.9 million. Net rental income rose 7.8% to £76.0 million from £70.5 million.

LondonMetric also declared a 2.4 pence per share dividend for the second quarter, unchanged from the first. This increased the total dividend for the half year by 4.3% to 4.8p from 4.6p per share.

Chief Executive Andrew Jones said financial markets remain difficult, with higher rates and borrowing costs ‘severely impacting liquidity across the real estate sector’.

‘Against this backdrop, we have continued to be active and opportunistic,’ he added, noting the CT Property acquisition and sales of assets worth £157 million.

‘As a result, our portfolio is in great shape and its alignment to well positioned triple net income assets has helped to deliver a positive set of financial results,’ Jones continued. ‘This puts us on track for a ninth consecutive year of dividend progression; a performance that puts us in a rarefied club.

‘Looking forward, we will continue to allocate capital to sectors that are benefiting from evolving consumer behaviours which provide an attractive tailwind for returns and dividend growth.’

Shares in LondonMetric were down 0.1% at 180.35p in London on Thursday morning.

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