Slough Estates has become the latest property developer to opt for real estate investment trust (REIT) status as it announced a 184% rise in pre-tax profits to £338m for the first half of the year.

Profit was boosted by the increase in value of the company’s property portfolio, as net asset value per share rose 7.4% to 730.8p.

Ian Coull, chief executive, said Slough Estates expected to elect for REIT status from 1 January 2007. British Land and Land Securities have also announced plans to become REITs.

Coull said: “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.

Slough Estates’ total portfolio value rose 8.2% to £5.6bn in the first half.