- Real Estate Investors (REI), a real estate investment trust, announced it has increased revenues and covered its dividend payments against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty.

In a trading update for 2019, the company reported its portfolio remained 'well balanced', with 280 occupiers across 53 assets and additional value being created via asset management initiatives.

In 2019, REI completed 53 lease events, comprising 44 new lettings and nine lease renewals.

Real Estate Investors chief executive Paul Bassi said: 'Despite high levels of economic and political uncertainty creating a relatively static market in 2019, we have increased our revenues and covered our dividend payments, with contracted rents rising to £17.66m, up 3.85% over the year.'

REI, which has a portfolio of 1.59 million sq ft of commercial property, reported it had maintained a 'diversified portfolio' that did not rely on any single occupier, asset or sector and with occupancy levels in excess of 96%.

The company confirmed that its fully covered dividend has now seen seven consecutive years of year-on-year growth, with total dividends paid to date of £27.3m.

During 2019, the investment trust paid a pro-rata dividend of 3.75p per share and said it anticipates announcing an increase in its final dividend payment.

Bassi added: 'Looking ahead into 2020, we anticipate the pent-up requirement to trade that has been accumulating over the last 12 months being released which is likely to stimulate our markets and create further opportunities for REI.'

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