Big Yellow Group PLC, the largest publicly traded self-storage operator in the United Kingdom, said its profit for the first half of the fiscal year increased 35 percent, as the company opened sites and the value of existing ones climbed. Net income in the six months ended on Sept. 30 rose to £41.1 million pounds from £30.4 million pounds a year earlier, according to Bloomberg News.
In a July share sale, Big Yellow raised £36.4 million to fund expansion and pay for its conversion to a real estate investment trust. Britain is introducing REITs starting Jan. 1, exempting property companies that distribute at least 90 percent of taxable profit as dividends to pay little or no corporate taxes.
Big Yellow raised its first-half dividend 75 percent to 3.5 pence per share. The company confirmed that from next year, it plans to pay higher dividends than required under REIT rules.
Last month, the company agreed to franchise a network of stores in the United Arab Emirates. It will open its first store in the region in Dubai in the first half of 2008. The company may also start franchises in other countries. For information, visit www.bigyellow.co.uk.