Stonemartin, the specialist office provider, says it is "very optimistic" about the year ahead.

The company, which owns Birmingham's Institute of Directors Hub, said the development of its New Broad Street House in London - also its headquarters - had been very successful.

Substantial forward bookings for the meeting and conference space had already been secured and contracted occupancy for the office space now secured at 17 per cent.

Chairman Richard Mead said the company's buildings in Birmingham and Manchester continued to attract new customers and were developing as successful conference centres.

He said: "Furthermore, the establishment of a network of conference centres has generated significant interest from a number of the major event intermediaries, leading to a stronger forward order book for this aspect of our business generally.

"Contracted occupancy now stands at 88 per cent in Birmingham and 62 per cent in Manchester."

Stonemartin said steady progress is also being achieved in Reading where new customers, who include Lloyds Register and Home Assured, have brought contracted occupancy up to 22 per cent.

It said in Bristol, its management agreement with St Martins will draw to a close early next year and that the partnership has been successful in acquiring a new 90,000 sq ft office building at Temple Circus, opposite Temple Quay and within a few minutes walk of Temple Meads mainline station.

Stonemartin said it expected this building to be open for business at the end of 2006 and will bring its total workstations under management to more than 4,000.

In a statement to the company's AGM yesterday, Mr Mead added: "We have established a strong management team which has enhanced performance, reduced costs and increased market awareness.

"It has also shown itself capable of creating the highest-quality product and one which I believe has a very wide appeal in today's economic environment. We are therefore very optimistic about the year ahead."