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Fonciere des Regions Revenue Little Changed on Sales

Fonciere des Regions SA, the French office landlord with stakes in five other real estate investment trusts, said first-quarter revenue was little changed after it sold properties and rents showed signs of bottoming out.

Sales rose to 142.4 million euros ($182 million) from 141.8 million euros a year earlier, the Metz-based company said in a statement today. Excluding disposals and acquisitions, sales advanced 1.7 percent.

“The office market in France saw the first signs of an upturn in lease inquiries by large accounts and public entities after a lackluster second-half 2009,” FDR said in the statement. A slowdown in supply growth “suggests that rents will stabilize,” it added.

FDR sold or agreed to sell 120 million euros of real estate so far this year. The company is disposing of properties to reduce debt, which equaled 55.6 percent of asset value at the end of last year.

The company aims to increase full-year profit excluding changes in the value of properties and interest-rate derivatives, FDR said without giving a specific target. The 2009 total was 304 million euros.

FDR said today it acquired a 75 percent stake in a venture formed in 2004 with a Morgan Stanley real estate fund to buy and lease back seven office buildings chiefly occupied by International Business Machines Corp.

The purchase is part of “a measured acquisition policy,” Chief Executive Officer Christophe Kullman said in the statement. It will contribute 1 million euros to FDR’s profit, excluding changes in property and interest-rate derivative values, and add more than 15 million euros to net asset value.

FDR advanced 9 percent to 75.60 euros in Paris trading yesterday, lifting its market value to 3.83 billion euros.

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