Shares in Hammerson were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the real estate company reported a return to profit in the full year ended 31 December 2010.

Net retail income dropped three per cent in the period to £284.7 million. Pre-tax profit in the period was £620.2 million, in the previous year the group reported a pre-tax loss of £453.1 million.

The fall in income was attributed to disposals.Following the return to profit Hammerson said it would be raising its total dividend 3.2 per cent to 15.95 pence per share.

John Nelson, Chairman of Hammerson, said, "This is a strong set of results which reinforces the strategy we are pursuing. Our rigorous focus on the performance of each asset is improving occupancy and income. We have sold mature assets and reinvested in properties which offer better growth prospects through active management. Looking forward, our financial flexibility and continued asset recycling will allow us to continue to take advantage of opportunities which we believe will arise in the coming period."

By 09:10 shares in Hammerson were up 1.65 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 454.90 pence per share.