Brookfield's earnings decline as FFO remain flat
Brookfield Properties (BPO) saw its fourth-quarter earnings decline as funds from operations were flat for the quarter. The Toronto-based real estate investment trust earned $971 million, or $1.70 a share, down from $1.04 billion, or $1.76 a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $397 million, up from $330 million in the year-ago period. For the full year, Brookfield reported net income of $1.55 billion, or $2.73 per share, compared with a loss of $220 million, or 52 cents per share, in 2009. Revenue for the year was $1.33 billion, compared to $1.16 billion a year ago. For the quarter, funds from operations — a key measure REIT performance — was flat at 40 cents a share. Funds from operations for the year were $727 million, or $1.37 per share, up from $556 million, or $1.25 per share, in 2009. The occupancy rate at year-end was 95%, consistent with year-end 2009. The firm leased 2.2 million square feet of space during the quarter at an average net rent of $36 per square foot, including 773,000 square feet in the New York metro area and 256,000 square feet in Houston. Full-year leasing totaled 6.9 million square feet, 1.5 times 2009’s full- year leasing activity. “Having achieved overall leasing activity of 6.9 million square feet in 2010, our second-highest annual leasing volume ever and 50% higher than 2009, we begin 2011 observing confidence returning to our primary office markets,” stated Ric Clark, president and CEO of Brookfield Office Properties. The REIT is transitioning out of the residential real estate business and will focus future investments on office properties. Its residential business will be merged into Brookfield Homes (BHS) and become known as Brookfield Residential Properties. Brookfield Properties Corp., meanwhile, will become Brookfield Office Properties. The transition will create a diversified North American residential land and housing company with $2.5 billion of assets and an equity value of approximately $1 billion, Brookfield said. An application will be made to list the common shares of Brookfield Residential on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. During the quarter, Brookfield said it advanced the divestiture of its residential land division for aggregate proceeds of $1.2 billion. The Brookfield Homes shareholder meeting to approve the transaction has been scheduled for March 15. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC. The author holds no relevant investments.