Industrial and business park operator Slough Estates - owner of the Kings Norton Business Park in Birmingham - yesterday posted a 4.8 per cent rise in 2004 underlying profit and predicted further growth, despite sluggish demand for its UK properties.
The property management company reported a rise in inquiries in the current year, but said its forecasts had been over-optimistic.
"We have not exactly been inundated with ten inquiries per building. We're not going to be overwhelmed by demand," said chief executive Ian Coull
"We thought this time last year that occupier demand would increase, but they have remained sluggish. But it is improving."
Slough Estates said profit before tax and exceptional items rose to £146.8 million in 2004.
Analysts' forecasts ranged from £ 142.9 million to £151.9 million.
Diluted net asset value per share - a key performance gauge for property firms was 564 pence - an increase of 11.7 per cent.
The company said it was well positioned to take on real estate investment trust ( REIT) status, an investment structure that would transform it into a kind of taxefficient investment fund, if UK government plans for REITs are finalised next year.