Property developer says it will convert into a real estate investment trust in 2007 as it announces £338m interim profit

Property developer Slough Estates is preparing to convert into a real estate investment trust (REIT) as it announces an 184% rise in pre-tax profits to £338.1m for the first half of the year.

Chief executive Ian Coull said Slough Estates expects to elect for REIT status from 1 January 2007. It follows announcements from developers British Land and Land Securities that they will also convert to REIT status.

Profit before tax at Slough Estates shot up 184% to £338.1m for the first six months to 30 June 2006. Its total portfolio value rose 8.2% to £5.6bn.

Coull said: “We delivered another strong performance in the first half of 2006, sustaining our momentum from 2005. The major restructuring of the UK business in 2005 has helped to deliver these good results.”

Part of the restructuring involved outsourcing its UK design and construction department resulting in 45 redundancies.