Slough Estates reported a 7.4% half-year increase in net asset value in its first set of interim results as a FTSE 100 company this morning

Buoyed by record lettings performances in the UK and Europe and a 6.7% portfolio valuation uplift, the UK’s biggest provider of flexible business space generated £338.1m of pretax profits in the six months to June 30, an 184.1% increase on the same period in 2005.

Chief executive Ian Coull told shareholders that Slough would convert to REIT status from 1 January, and that it was ‘in good shape to maximise its opportunities’ in a REITs environment.

He said: ‘We delivered another strong performance in the first half of 2006, sustaining our momentum from 2005. The major restructuring of the UK business in 2005 has helped to deliver these good results.’

Highlights of the year so far include achievement of 2m sq ft (190,000 sq m) of lettings in the UK and a further 1.96m (183,000 sq m) of lettings on the continent.

Slough’s North American bio-tech real estate business has also had its fair share of success in the first six months of 2006, with 538,200 sq ft (50,000 sq m) of lettings, including a 247,572 sq ft (23,000 sq m) pre-let.

Moving forward, Slough said it would press on with its intensive capital recycling and asset management programme and begin construction of almost 280,000 sq m of space due for completion in the next 12 months, of which 76% is pre-let or pre-sold.