Chairman Peter Birch states that developer is 'ideally positioned' to benefit from tax-free property vehicle.

Land Securities is set to become a REIT next year after stating that it was "ideally positioned" to benefit from the tax-free property vehicle.

The developer and property giant is now expected to move to the status in early 2007 after chairman Peter Birch said in full-year results announced this morning that the status would benefit the firm's shareholders.

Birch said: "I would hope to announce our intentions and the implications for shareholders in the coming months and... am of the view that it will be in shareholders' interests to convert as soon as is practical after 1 January 2007."

Birch's comments came as the firm revealed a massive 80% hike in pre-tax profits to £2.4bn. Its portfolio value rose 15.3% to £12.9bn.

In the firm's development wing, £313.6m was spent over the year on projects including Cardinal Place at Victoria, New Street Square, Bankside 2 and 3 in London and shopping centre developments in Bristol and Exeter.

LandSecs also revealed that it had now agreed costing on phase two of its troubled Broadcasting House project for the BBC in London. It added that phase one was complete and the final account had been agreed.