First Property Group PLC looks to Poland

LONDON (Alliance News) – First Property Group PLC on Thursday said it plans to continue investing in “high income” property, with Poland the most likely market to be targeted.

The property fund manager and investor said the investments would ideally be made in partnership with third parties. “We are currently working on several such opportunities,” Chief Executive Ben Habib said in a statement.

Habib’s comments came as First Property reported 9.4% increase in first-half pretax profit, which amounted to GBP5.9 million in the six months ended September 30, and lifted its interim dividend to 0.385 pence from 0.35p.

Group properties were worth GBP125.9 million at book value at the end of the half versus GBP63.1 million the same stage the prior year, and GBP145.3 million at market value against GBP72.5 million the same stage the prior year. Gross debt secured against group properties rose to GBP108.3 million from GBP50.7 million year on year, with the closely-watched loan-to-value ratio rising to 74.5% from 69.9%.

Shares in First Property were down 0.5% at 46.50p on Thursday morning.

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