A rapidly improving regional market has helped Birmingham-based property group Real Estate Investors report record half-year results and break through the one million sq ft mark for space in its portfolio.
The business, which is now a real estate investment trust, recorded a pre-tax profit increase of 211 per cent and a 31 per cent increase in revenue.
Pre-tax profit rose from £2.6 million to £8.1 million but this included a surplus on the revaluation of interest rate swaps of £690,000, up from a 2014 loss of £68,000, and a revaluation surplus of £5.9 million, up year on year from £2.4 million.
Revenue rose from £2.9 million to £3.8 million in the six months to June 30, 2015.
REI said its board was proposing to increase the interim dividend 33 per cent from 0.75p to 1p.
The record contracted rental income of £9.3 million per year is up 21 per cent since the end of 2014.
AIM-listed REI said today it had broken through the one million sq ft barrier, with total ownership up 26 per cent since the end of 2014 when it stood at 799,112 sq ft.
Chief executive Paul Bassi said today: "Our acquisition strategy is beginning to show positive capital growth and strong cash flows.
"The £45 million placing in April has provided additional capital to allow us to capitalise on market opportunities in a rapidly improving regional market.
"I anticipate continued growth in our rental income, profitability, dividend payment and our current available resources establishing a £200 million portfolio within the next six months, subject to sales.
"Birmingham and the wider Midlands is re-emerging as a major UK economic powerhouse and, while manufacturing and in particular the automotive sector remains strong, the regeneration of the local economy is underpinned by the growing industries of tourism, education, retail, digital media and technology."
He added that REI had a strong pipeline of potential new purchases and a "very healthy" pipeline of new lettings within its portfolio.
New acquisitions include offices in St Paul's Square in the Jewellery Quarter for £3.75 million, retail space in Acocks Green for £8 million and Bearwood Shopping Centre in Birmingham for £8.65 million.
Mr Bassi said: "All of these assets provide asset management potential which will provide income and capital growth."