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Brookfield Properties earnings jump

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Brookfield Office Properties (BPO-N) reported a 37-percent rise in quarterly funds from operations due to an increase in the amount of office space leased and higher rents.
   
The Canadian company, which is one of Manhattan's biggest landlords and has extensive holdings throughout North America, said FFO for the third quarter rose to $169 million US, or 32 cents a share, from $123 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-before quarter.
   
FFO is a measure that strips out the effects of depreciation and other factors from the earnings of property companies.

Brookfield said it leased 1.1 million square feet of space, up from 693,000 square feet leased in the year-before quarter.

The company, which in July changed its name from Brookfield Properties Corp and announced it will restructure to be a pure-play office firm, said the average net rent per square foot rose 9 percent to $25 per square foot.

As part of its transition, Brookfield said it had agreed to sell the company's residential land unit for about $1.2 billion during the quarter. It also acquired 16 properties in Australia.

“Having completed the first step in our strategic repositioning with the expansion into Australia, we look forward to successfully concluding the next step, divesting our residential land business,” said Ric Clark, president and chief executive.

The company's managed portfolio occupancy rate finished the quarter at 95.1 percent, up 30 basis points from the previous quarter.

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