Land Securities Group's revenue profit rose by 5.2% and adjusted diluted earnings per share increased by 5.8% in the six months to the end of September. Chief executive Robert Noel said: 'Landsec reports a strong operational performance in the first half, with our highest levels of leasing activity since the global financial crisis, opportunistic buying and profitable disposals. 'We've continued the active management of our balance sheet, returning £475m of capital to shareholders and also lowering our cost of debt and lengthening its duration.' Revenue profit rose by 5.2% to £203m while adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to 25.7p from 24.3p last time. Pre-tax losses of £33m were down from £95m a year ago and the group declared a dividend of 18.7p per share - up 10.1%. Noel said: 'While the valuation of the Combined Portfolio is little changed, adjusted diluted net asset value per share is up 1.1% as the cost of debt management has been more than offset by the effect of the 15 for 16 share consolidation accompanying the return of capital. 'In London, the sale of 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 at an exceptional price demonstrated our disciplined approach to managing capital. 'The sale crystallised a 170% profit on cost and significant value for shareholders. 'At 21 Moorfields, EC2, the quality of our product, our reputation for delivery and the strength of our partnership approach saw us secure a significant pre-let in the City of London, with Deutsche Bank committing to a minimum of 469,000 sq ft. 'In Retail, we launched Westgate Oxford, the largest retail and leisure destination to open in the UK this year - another example of our continual focus on delivering the best experience for our customers. 'During the period, we completed the acquisition of three outlet destinations, demonstrating our commitment to this growing and resilient sector, and establishing our position as the largest owner-manager of outlets in the UK. 'The headwinds of Brexit are beginning to show in the economy. 'However, our balance sheet is healthy and we have the talent, firepower and experience to thrive.'
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