Listed landlord Precinct Properties has just announced a big lift in bottom-line profit and that it is in exclusive negotiations to develop an exclusive part of Auckland's waterfront.

Precinct has just announced that it made $39.5 million net profit after tax in the six months to December 31, up 67 per cent on the previous $23.6 million.

But Scott Pritchard, Precinct chief executive, also said the company was now in talks to work on one of the country's largest urban regeneration projects on 1.1ha of land where about 46,000 sq m of floors space could be developed.

Precinct's involvement in the Wynyard Quarter had not previously been disclosed but Pritchard said the company was working with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) which has plans for a multi-building "innovation precinct".


Precinct could become the development partner for the commercial offices within the quarter's Innovation Precinct, he said.

Precinct's net profit after tax rose after it bought more properties and recorded gains on interest rate swap valuations, the company said.

The business, landlord to many Government ministries and departments, raised $62.5 million new equity and shareholders also benefit from the better times: dividends rise from 2.56c to 2.7c.

The statement issued with the result expressed strong confidence in the Wynyard deal, saying non-binding commercial terms had been agreed with Waterfront Auckland.

Negotiations were progressing well and a development agreement was expected to be signed in the coming months. Final approval remains conditional on Precinct board and Waterfront Auckland approval, the company said.

The leasing strategy for the sites would build on existing efforts to create a purpose-built information communication technology and digital media hub that brings together innovative entrepreneurs and larger scale companies as part of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development's plans for a multi-building innovation precinct in the Wynyard Quarter.

"Since our inception we have retained a city centre office sector specialist strategy. This has not changed. This opportunity will complement our existing core CBD offering and allow us to widen our client base to innovative businesses through ATEED's planned initiatives for high-growth technology businesses," Pritchard said.