Half-time pretax profits have shot up for Halladale, the property investment group which a few years ago teamed up with the Anglo Irish UK Property Fund to acquire the leasehold interest of Queens Square Shopping Centre in West Bromwich from Richardson Developments for £18.5 million.
Halladale yesterday said that pretax profits for the six months to October 31 rose from £1.8 million to £3.9 million.
The firm added that the aggregate value of transactions in the 12 months since October 31 2004 increased by 138 per cent, from £141 million to £335 million.
Basic earnings per share of are up from 4.56p to 6.84p, while the interim dividend payment climbs 40 per cent, from 1p to 1.4p per share.
Chief executive David Lockhart told shareholders: "The first half of the year has been a period of outstanding performance.
"We have seen continued strong growth across all of our key performance indicators.
"As an asset backed, earnings focused business I am delighted to report a 117 per cent growth in profit before tax and a 40 per cent increase in the interim dividend."
He added: "Our diversified strategy of active asset management, development and co-investment fund management is clearly working.
"We have also demonstrated the flexibility of our pro-active approach to asset management by taking advantage of the strong investment market to accelerate our retail disposals and diversification into the office market.
"We see this trend continuing in the second half of the year."
Chairman Fred Shedden also said: "Continued strength of investor demand throughout 2005 has caused property yields to harden further.
"Whilst this may continue into 2006 it is our belief that future increases in value will be driven by income growth. It is precisely in these market conditions that Halladale's entrepreneurial approach gives us a competitive advantage.
"We create value by spotting opportunities and by a rigorous application of our active asset management and development skills.
"I believe the business is well positioned in terms of strategic direction and that the Halladale business model will continue to deliver attractive returns to our shareholders.
"The second half of the financial year has continued strongly with many exciting opportunities in the pipeline. I am confident that Halladale will continue to go from strength to strength."