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Property investor Supermarket Income REIT has boosted operating profits by 18% to £45m in the first half following a 10% increase in rent at the company to £104.7m.

The group said the rise in annualised passing rent in the six months to 31 December 2023 was the result of acquisitions of more sites and contractual uplifts.

It added the performance was underpinned by continued structural growth in the grocery sector and Tesco and Sainsbury’s - its largest tenants - gaining market share.

Supermarket Incomes portfolio is independently valued at £1.7bn, which represented a like-for-like decline of 3.2%.

Chairman Nick Hewson said: “The UK grocery sector continues to demonstrate strong resilience to the challenging macroeconomic environment. Our tenants continue to grow, strengthening their financial and operational performance by putting omnichannel supermarkets at the heart of their operations.

“A record £2.1bn was invested into UK supermarket property in 2023, highlighting the strong appeal of the asset class and the attractiveness of current asset values. UK property valuations continue to be impacted by the uncertain economic backdrop. However, as interest rates normalise and with the limited supply of omnichannel supermarkets, we remain highly optimistic for the valuation outlook for the year.”

Shares in the group fell 0.9% to 75.8p this morning.

Morning update

Own-label household products supplier McBride is hosting a capital markets day for investors, lenders and analysts in London today.

Presentations from CEO Chris Smith, CFO Mark Strickland and divisional managing directors and the chief transformation officer will cover the growth of the private label market and McBride’s share gains; an overview of of performance against the ‘Compass’ strategy by each of the divisions; the transformation programme; and the financial performance, progress and targets.

The leadership team will also set out further details on its growth strategy and key objectives for the next five years, which include: revenue growth of 2% a year, EBITDA of more than 10% of sales, net debt below 1.5x EBITDA and more than 25% return on capital employed.

The FTSE 100 opened flat at 7,747.12pts.

Shares in McBride climbed another 2.1% to 97.9p ahead of the capital markets event, with the stock up 16% in the year to date and more than 140% in the past six months.

Early risers include Bakkavor, up 3.5% to 103.5p, THG, up 2.2% to 61.3p, and C&C Group, up 2.1% to 154.8p.

Ocado is down 0.8% to 462.7p so far and M&S has fallen 0.6% to 249.4p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 soared 1% to a nine-month high of 7,748.55pts as the market looked forward to a potential interest rates cut.

Shares in Pets at Home took a 3.7% hit to 265p as the CMA opened up an investigation into vet pricing.

Just Eat Takeaway was one of the winners yesterday, up 2.9% to 1,135p, while PZ Cussons fell 5.3% to 90p and Science in Sport was down 3.2% to 15.3p.