Asset managers First Property Group has emerged unscathed from the credit crunch according to its 2007 interim results.
The unaudited figures show the company has recorded a 168% growth in pre-tax profits for the same period in 2006 – and 30% growth on the first half of the year.
The group, founded by chief executive Ben Habib in 2000, has now announced an interim dividend of 0.15p per share for its shareholders.
And Habib said the profit growth was largely due to the expansion of their portfolio, especially in central and eastern Europe which covers 94% of its total portfolio, from £90m to £240m – which stabilised them during the summer’s financial turmoil.
‘We are delighted with the progress being made with the Group’s overall operations,’ said Habib, ‘in particular the profit growth resulting from the company’s strategic transformation put in place last year.
‘Our portfolio of property assets under management during the period increased substantially and the company’s asset management activities continue to progress strongly in Poland which appears largely unaffected by the recent credit crunch.’
He said he is confident about the rest of the year because the company has the capacity to acquire a further £200m of property on behalf of the fund it manages for the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the pension scheme for academics.