Carey steps down at Slough

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City Editor

Roger Carey is leaving Slough Estates, Britain's largest industrial landlord, after a boardroom reshuffle in effect eliminated his job as managing director. The former president of the British Property Federation and one of the property industry's highest-profile figures, will leave the company at the end of April.

Mr Carey's departure follows the decision by Sir Nigel Mobbs to split the roles of chairman and chief executive. His move to become executive chairman created a race for the chief executive's job, which was won by the finance director, Derek Wilson.

Both sides insisted that the parting of the ways was amicable and Mr Carey is not expected to receive any compensation. He plans to keep working in the property business but has no concrete plans.

News of the boardroom changes, which bring Slough into line with Cadbury committee recommendations, accompanied full-year figures showing an 11 per cent rise in profit before tax to pounds 70.7m. The more important measure of net asset value per share declined during the year, however, by 3.6 per cent to 266p.

Sounding a more optimistic note than for some time, Sir Nigel said: "The past year has seen further progress in the achievement of strategic objectives, particularly the continuing improvement in occupancy." As a result the dividend was nudged up 4.9 per cent to 8.5p a share.

Slough's total portfolio was valued at pounds 1.78bn at the end of 1995, a 3.1 per cent decline on a year earlier. The biggest hit was in the UK, where values fell almost 5 per cent, led by a 7.3 per cent fall in the value of Slough's offices. Retail properties fell by 5.6 per cent while the core industrial estate, which accounts for 58 per cent of the total portfolio, slipped by 3.9 per cent. The UK portfolio is currently rented at levels estimated to be 7.8 per cent higher than those that would be achievable on the open market. That represents a slight improvement on the over-renting of 8.5 per cent at the end of 1994.