St Modwen said its focus this year would be ‘cash management and cost control’ and it would continue to take decisions to ensure the business operates within its banking covenants.

In an interim management statement today it said: ‘The property market remains challenging with pricing still under pressure and transactions taking longer to bring to conclusion. There are reports of some more positive evidence on the investment front, and we have seen some tentative signs of this, but the position remains fragile and it is too early to claim that the market has bottomed. However, our confidence in the longer term remains undiminished.’

The developer and regeneration specialist confirmed it had completed three sales, totalling £17.3m, including a foodstore at Catford Shopping Centre in Lewisham for £9.1m, at a net initial yield of 6.9%; a 40,000 sq ft industrial building at Langford Mead, for £2.87m, at a net initial yield of 7.25%; and an asset in Bedfordshire for £5.3m, at a net initial yield 8.5%.

St Modwen also said it was continued to ‘marshal’ sites for medium and long-term development plans. It said it signed a £35m development agreement to build the new Warwickshire College at Rugby which would be completed by September 2010. It also agreed terms with AREVA T&D to redevelop its existing 360,000 sq ft premises at St. Leonards Avenue in Stafford into a 335,000 sq ft Business and Science Park.

The developer also obtained planning consent for a 77,000 sq ft business park in Letchworth, Hertfordshire and at its Melton Park Business Park in Hull it confirmed it has pre-sold a 30,000 sq ft office and distribution unit.

St Modwen’s interim management statement follows the news yesterday that St Modwen’s £100m Upton Park scheme (pictured), which would see a redevelopment of Queen’s Market, had been recommended for planning consent by Newham Council.

It plans to redevelop the market near Upton Park tube station into 91,000 sq ft of market stalls and shops and 350 homes. The retail will be divided into 23,000 sq ft of market stalls and 68,000 sq ft of shops. It will also include a 20,000 sq ft civic ‘front office’ facility facing onto Green Street.