- St Modwen Properties posted a positive performance in the first half of its financial year after it cut its exposure to the retail sector.

The company's net asset value per share for the six months through May rose 1.3% to 476.4p.

Adjusted EPRA earnings per share rose 16% to 7.3p, notwithstanding major disposals during 2018.

St Modwen Properties declared an interim dividend of 3.6p per share, up 16%, which it said reflected solid growth in earnings.

'We have had a positive first half of 2019 and our expectations for the full year remain unchanged,' chief executive Mark Allan said.

'Following our significant portfolio repositioning last year through the sale of retail and other non-core assets, our focus has now shifted to growth, building on the substantial opportunities we have in our existing portfolio.'

'This is reflected in a further increase in housebuilding volumes and industrial and logistics development activity, where the structural growth drivers remain positive despite the ongoing economic uncertainty.'

'We continue to expect the delivery of this strategy to drive a meaningful improvement in return on capital and earnings over time.'

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