Raven Says Earnings Rose 200%

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Raven Russia, the British owner of Moscow and St. Petersburg warehouses, said Monday that earnings almost tripled last year as the company's properties gained in value

Net income rose to $95.3 million, or 22.32 cents a share, from $32.6 million, or 9.62 cents, a year earlier, the company said Monday in a statement. Net rental income more than doubled to $25.9 million from $11 million, while valuation gains jumped to $79.7 million from $7 million.

"The strong profits are providing a platform for our progressive dividend policy and allow our investors to share in the success of the Russian economy," chairman Richard Jewson said in the statement.

The economy is growing at more than 7 percent per year, boosted by its position as the world's largest energy exporter. That has created a shortage of warehouses and is prompting developers such as Raven Russia to build more properties in the country.

The company is on target to have 2.4 million square meters of commercial space by the third quarter of next year, Jewson said. The properties will be worth $2.4 billion when completed, compared with the development cost of $1.5 billion.

Raven Russia will double its second-half dividend to 4 pence (8 cents) per share. That will bring the total for the year to 6.5 pence, up from 4 pence in 2006.