British self-storage firm Big Yellow Group Plc posted a 20 percent rise in first-half adjusted pretax profit on higher occupancy at its stores, and raised dividend 12.5 percent.

The company, which helps people and businesses store merchandise, goods, equipments, and furniture while moving homes and offices, said trading since the end of first half was also better than last year despite a slow economic growth.

We have clearly been assisted by our strong brand position, in particular online, and the focus of our stores in London and the South East where overall revenue growth per store outperformed the rest of the portfolio, Executive Chairman Nicholas Vetch said in a statement on Tuesday.

April-September adjusted pretax profit rose to 11.6 million pounds ($18.32 million) from 9.7 million pounds a year ago. Store sales increased 7 percent to 31.9 million pounds.

The company raised its interim dividend to 4.5 pence from 4 pence last year.

Big Yellow shares, which have lost more than a third of their value over the last six months, closed at 218 pence on Monday on the London stock Exchange, valuing the company at about 285 million pounds.

(Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)