New sites lift Great Portland

GREAT Portland Estates, the property company, has spent about pounds 65m on eight retail and office properties since it raised pounds 95m in a rights issue last June. They will add more than pounds 6m a year in income, writes Rupert Bruce.

A valuation of about 20 per cent of Great Portland's properties, carried out last month by the surveyors Hillier Parker, showed values have climbed 7 per cent since March.

Pre-tax profits for the half- year to 30 September were pounds 16m, down from pounds 16.7m in the first half last year. Earnings per share have declined to 4.3p from 5.6p, mainly because of the higher number of shares. The interim dividend is down from 3.3p to 2.7p. The company said results for the second half would be similar. The shares rose 6p to 213p.