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RioCan CEO Edward Sonshine

Jim Ross

Canada's largest real-estate investment trust, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust , reaped a 22-per-cent increase to its first-quarter profit as it took in more from rental payments from shopping centres in this country and the United States.

The Toronto-based property operator and developer said Thursday that its net income was $37.5-million or 15 cents per unit in the first quarter.

That's up from $30.7-million or 14 cents per unit a year earlier and an even bigger increase from the prior three-month period when RioCan's profit was $27.5-million or 12 cents per unit.

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Distributions to RioCan's investors were stable on a per-unit basis at 34.5 cents for the quarter but increased overall to $83.7-million from $76.8-million in last year's first quarter due to an increased number of units outstanding.

RioCan's revenue was $214.6-million during the first three months of 2010, including $200.8-million from rentals. Funds from operations, or FFO, was $86.4-million or 36 cents per unit and the occupancy rate was 97 per cent.

"We are satisfied with the results in the first quarter and are looking forward to continued improvement throughout the year," Edward Sonshine, RioCan's president and chief executive said in a statement.

He added that RioCan expects to generate "meaningful growth" through acquisitions, new land develops and growth within its current portfolio in the coming quarters.

The Canadian Press

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