Developer says it will now focus on completing projects after strong investment portfolio helped increase profit by £4.5m.

Development Securities has said that a strong performance from its investment portfolio helped it to push pre-tax profits up by 23%.

The developer this morning posted a pre-tax profit of £23.3m for the year to 31 December 2005, up from £18.8m the previous year.

But chairman Roy Dantzic said that the firm would now concentrate on its development pipeline, which includes the Heart of Slough regeneration project and Oriental City in north-west London.

He said: "It remains our target to deliver completed schemes in the latter part of this decade and we are cautiously optimistic of a marked increase in our development activity and expenditure, starting with the next phase at PaddingtonCentral in the near term."

The firm reported that it was likely to receive approval from its funding partner for the second phase of PaddingtonCentral, which will include a 250,000 sq ft office building and a 206-room Accor hotel.

A planning application is to be submitted in May for the Oriental City scheme in Colindale, which will include housing, retail and leisure space.

Work is expected to start in early 2007 at its 18.5-acre brownfield Luneside, Lancaster project, a joint venture with developer CTP,.