St Modwen sees vital signs

Regional developer St Modwen yesterday said it saw "important signs of improvement" in the property market despite wider annual losses.

The firm, which specialises in town centre regeneration and bringing former industrial sites back into use, posted pre-tax losses of 119.4m for the year to November 30, up from 73.1m the previous year.

But St Modwen added that prices had stabilised after a 20 per cent decline in assets over the year, and predicted a return to profit growth despite uncertain market prospects and "fragile" business confidence.

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St Modwen is working on town centre regeneration schemes in Farnborough, Skelmersdale in Lancashire, and Wembley, north London.

Shares in the Birmingham-based firm rose after it also grew rental income in "very challenging" conditions, with asset sell-offs and tenant failures more than offset by new lettings and income from newly-completed developments.