REAL ESTATE – Property investor and manager Wereldhave is considering expansion into new markets, such as San Diego area on the US west coast and Turkey.

"We will continue to renew our investments in conformity with our clients’ requirements. Portfolio growth will be pursued in all our markets and sectors," the €4.4bn company said in its annual report.

Revaluation (€266m) and divestments (€40m) are the main contributors to Wereldhave’s 78% jump in profits to €358m, it indicated.

The company reported an improved occupancy rate of 1.3% to 93.5%. Due to an improvement of the world economy, it expects a further rise, it added.

Wereldhave’s intrinsic value went up 15%. The company has proposed a €4.60 (cash) dividend per share, after its profits per share increased by 79% to €16.53.

During 2006, Wereldhave’s property under management went up 10.2% to €2.5bn, while its own assets rose by 14.7% to €1.9bn.

According to the property company, its pipeline consists of the extension of two retail centres in Belgium (Doornik and Nijvel), a conference centre in Finland (Espoo) and the extension of a retail centre in the Netherlands (Leiderdorp).

Wereldhave said it also will develop a complex of 1,400 homes, shops, offices, a hotel and central facilities in San Antonio, Texas, and 600 homes in Frisco, Texas.

According to the company, the total investment volume of these projects, which will contribute to the profits as of 2008, are €420m.