St Modwen yesterday posted a 32 per cent jump in first-half profit, reflecting the recovery of the UK property market.
The developer, which in May submitted its planning application for the £2bn regeneration of New Covent Garden Market – Britain’s largest flower and vegetable market located in Nine Elms – reported pre-tax profits of £51.3m. It hiked its dividend by 10 per cent to 1.463p per share.
Chief executive Bill Oliver said: “Confidence is starting to return to the regions”, where the firm’s traditional engine of growth, commercial development, is gaining momentum. Over one million square feet of regional commercial projects are currently in progress. “This combined with our improving valuations particularly in the residential sector, underpin our confidence for continued outperformance as we work towards the full year,” he said.
Property surveyor Sweett Group also benefitted from the UK recovery, posting a 59 per cent rise in pre-tax profits last year to £2.8m.