Helical Bar said today it was ‘genuinely excited’ about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities the severe property downturn would present.

Reporting a strong set of half-year results, Helical chairman Giles Weaver said: ‘In such torrid market conditions we expect to see buying opportunities that arise only once or twice in a property career.

‘We have built up our own cash resources and agreed joint venture arrangements with well-capitalised partners who are eager to invest alongside us where and when we find compelling value’.

Helical increased pretax profits by 74% to £12.7m in the six months. The driver was a jump in development profits from £4.3m last year to £7.9m, despite writedowns of trading and development stock of £13.1m. Profits came from Trinity Square in Nottingham and the Tideway Industrial Estate in south London.

Helical’s net asset value dropped by 5% to 333p a share, but this figure is largely irrelevant since the company did not undertake a revaluation of its investment portfolio nor reassess the surplus on its development and trading stock.

‘We do not underestimate the challenge of preserving the value of our existing assets in the light of prevailing market conditions but are genuinely excited about the scale of opportunities ahead,’ Weaver added.

To quote John F Kennedy "The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger, the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognise the opportunity."’