Property disposals earn property £22m in exceptional profit to lift pre-tax profit to £64.6m.

Property giant Hammerson has blamed financing and void costs at three new developments for a 3.4% fall in pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June 2004.

Overall pre-tax profit rose by 36% to £64.6m as Hammerson made £22m exceptional profit disposing of property worth £245m. As a result of the disposals property income fell by £14m, but Hammerson reported that net rental income increased by 5.5% on a like-for-like basis.

Chairman Ronald Spinney said: “The group took advantage of the buoyant conditions in the UK property investment markets by raising over £245m from disposals.”

“The group’s high quality investment portfolio offers good potential for growth, while the development programme will generate substantial new income streams”