MEGA-property group, Slough Estates, which owns, and plans to sell, a huge chunk of the £65 million Clifton Moor shopping centre announced £146.8 million in pre-tax profits in its annual results for the year to December.

That is £6.7 million, or 4.8 per cent, more than last year's profits.

The group has already offloaded most of its shopping centres in Britain to concentrate on its main portfolio of industrial property.

It was aided by a mass £673 million property swap last year with Land Securities, owner of York's Coppergate Centre, which was seeking to acquire more retail centres and offload its industrial sites.

But, as reported in the Evening Press last November, Clifton Moor shopping centre was not in the offing at the time because of the complicated involvement of Tesco stores.

Slough Estates, with Tesco, owns 175,000 sq ft of retail space at Clifton Moor through a joint venture company called Shopping Centre Ltd.

However, Slough Estates plans to offload its share some time this year, ridding itself of some of the last vestiges of its retail portfolio.

Updated: 09:49 Thursday, March 24, 2005