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Emirates REIT rental income up 22% in the first half

Above, the Loft Offices in Dubai Media City, where Emirates REIT leases office spaces. (Courtesy Emirates REIT)
DUBAI: Emirates REIT, the UAE’s first listed real estate investment trust, on Wednesday said its rental income grew 22 percent in the first half, boosted by rental payments from schools during the period.
The company’s unaudited financials results showed that rental income was at $25.4 million (SR95.25 million) from $20.9 million a year ago while service fees and other income rose 6 percent to $2.8 million.
“This primarily reflects incremental leasing of office units at Index Tower, income from Jebel Ali School and rental payments from British Columbia Canadian School,” Emirates REIT said in its statement.
“Total occupancy across the portfolio reached 83 percent as at June 302017. The weighted average unexpired lease term was up to 8.2 years from 6.2 years in the first half of 2016.”
The annualized rental income also continued to grow and passed the Dh200-million mark as of August, Emirates REIT said.
Emirates REIT’s net profit was however 23.1 percent lower at $18.3 million for the first half versus the year-ago $23.8 million, which it pinned on “decrease in revaluation gains year on year.”
“The first half of the year was marked by strong operating cash flow conversion to profits and demonstrates the efficiency of our property and tenant management. Our defensive portfolio of prime assets and the doubling of our team has helped us continue to grow rents and identify strong acquisition opportunities,” said Sylvain Vieujot, the chief executive of Equitativa Dubai.
The company said its aggregate portfolio valuation rose 6.9 percent to $772.1 million in the first half compared with $722 million during the same period of 2016.
Also on Wednesday, the company announced that has acquired the three-story European Business Center at the Dubai Investments Park for Dh130 million.
The commercial building will be Emirates REIT’s tenth property in its portfolio across Dubai.
“Emirates REIT expects the transaction to generate an estimated IRR in excess of 10 percent,” the company said, noting the building’s current occupancy rate of 87 percent with tenants including Stantec International, UBC Businessmen Service and the German Emirati Business Center.

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