Developer reports confident results as it prepares for REIT status in 2007

Developer Land Securities has reported a 9% increase in its net asset value (NAV) per share as it prepares for real estate investment trust status.

It basic NAV was up to 1717p for the six months to 30 September from 1597p in the same period last year. Adjusted diluted NAV was up 10.9% o 2121p. Pre-tax profit dipped 0.5% to £1.2bn.

The company said it had been intentionally quieter on the acquisition and disposal front because of concentrating on investments with higher returns. However it was investing heavily in development and had spent £243m over the six month period.

Land Secs has voted to become a REIT on 1 January 2007. It said would incur a one-off conversion charge equal to about 2% of its gross assets. However, following the conversion about 90% of its activities would be become tax exempt.

The results were the last for outgoing chairman Peter Birch who took the opportunity to thank shareholders for their support and wish the company future success. Birch will be succeeded in January by Paul Myners whose previous jobs include Marks & Spencer chairman and boss of fund manager Gartmore.