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SEGRO logs 7.2% YOY increase in H1 pretax profit

's first-half adjustedpretax profit amounted to £74.2 million, up 7.2% from £69.2 million in thefirst half of 2015.

Adjustedearnings per share came in at 9.8 pence, up 6.5% from 9.2 pence in the year-agoperiod.

Thegroup's IFRS pretax profit for the period was £200.7 million, down 39.2% from£330.0 million in the previous first half. The company attributed the slide inIFRS profits to lower unrealized and realized gains on its property portfolio.

SEGROincreased its interim dividend to 5.2 pence per share, up 4.0% from 5.0 penceper share in the year-ago period.

Asat June 30, the company had projects worth £125 million in the pipeline invarious stages, with a total area of 440,500 square meters. Almost all of theprojects are due for completion in the second half and are 67% pre-let. A 7.9%yield is expected on total development cost after full occupation, with £26.5million worth of expected annualized rental income.

Further,the company has five pre-let projects approved or under construction in Italy,with nearly 130,000 square meters of logistics and retail space, in addition totwo projects in northern Europe, as well as a warehouse project in Poland.

SEGROinvested £44 million for new land acquisitions during the half, including aformer Unilever factory located opposite its Slough Trading Estate in Slough, U.K.

Disposalsof noncore assets amounted to £383 million, which includes the office portfolio, alsoin Slough, and two industrial estates in London.

Thevacancy rate in the company's portfolio was 4.8%, unchanged from Dec. 31, 2015.

SEGROCEO David Sleath said demand for urban and big box warehouses remained "largelyunaffected" by pre-Brexit uncertainty, and the company remains "optimistic"for its market due to limited supply of well-located modern warehouse buildings.