Commercial real estate investment trust Green REIT said its profits for the six months to the end of December rose by 21.4% while its rental income increased by 19.2%.

The company said it achieved the increases despite the unexpected trebling of stamp duty in last year's Budget. 

Green REIT said its half yearly profit rose to €53.1m from €43.7m, while its rental income amounted to €33.7m compared to €28.3m the same time the previous year.

It noted that without the stamp duty increase, its profit for the six months would have amounted to €112m.

Green REIT has proposed an interim dividend of 2.6 cent per share for the six month period. 

The company's shares gained 2% to €1.57 at close of trading today. 

The value of its portfolio increased by 5% to €1.45 billion in the six month period.

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During the six month period, the company completed its flagship office building at One Molesworth Street, which added €4m of contracted annual rent. Tenants include Barclays Bank, Goshawk Aviation and the Ivy Restaurant. 

It also started construction of Building 1 in its Central Park development in Dublin's Leopardstown with the project expected to be completed at the end of the year.

Three new units at the company's Horizon Logistics Park, near Dublin Airport, were also started, while Green REIT bought a further 28 acres of land at the park, bringing its total land holding there to about 300 acres.

The next office building due for completion is 5 Harcourt Road in Dublin city centre in the second quarter of this year. 

Pat Gunne, chief executive of Green Property REIT Ventures, said that profit from its development
schemes, particularly the recently completed One Molesworth Street, was key to mitigating the
unexpected trebling of stamp duty announced in the October 2017 budget. 

"This, combined with the continued improvement in our rental profits showing a 24% rise, is testament to the high quality of our portfolio, and the underlying security of our income from strong tenants. 

"Our asset management and development programme continues to be supported by a strong economic backdrop and robust take up by FDI and domestic occupiers," he added.

In today's results statement, Green REIT said it continues to operate against a favourable macroeconomic background.

It is seeing continuing strong growth in the Irish economy and strong foreign direct investment flows, which underpin a strong occupier market in its two key sectors - offices and logistics. 

Green REIT said that while commercial real estate volumes have moderated compared with the record recovery years of 2014 to 2016, it is now ina more stable environment.

The company said it is seeing "core international capital bidding" for prime Irish property, with the continuing low interest rate environment remaining supportive of real estate values.

Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today.