Industrial property specialist Ashtenne Holdings says it is experiencing a slowdown in tenant demand in southern England.
Chairman James Hambro said the slowdown in that area did not match other regions in the UK.

He stated: "Currently, enquiries from occupiers in the north of England and in Scotland are still robust, although it does appear to be taking longer, on average, to convert enquiries into new lettings.

"We are beginning to see signs of a possible slowdown in tenant demand and increasing price sensitivity from potential occupiers in the southern half of the UK.

"Whether or not this will spread to other parts of the UK remains to be seen."

Ashtenne made a pre-tax profit of £4.4m over the six months to 30 June 2001, down from £7.2m in the same period in 2000. However, the company said profit in the next six months would be boosted by the £3.3m sale of its industrial portfolio to the recently created Ashtenne Industrial Fund.

Ashtenne is now split into two main businesses, one dealing with industrial property fund management and co-investment, the other with mixed-use schemes.

Hambro said the restructured company was now "well positioned" to take advantage of new acquisition opportunities.