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Immofinanz Profit Drops 47% on East Europe Currencies, Swaps

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Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Immofinanz AG, eastern Europe’s biggest property company, said first-quarter profit fell 47 percent, driven by changes in currency values and losses from interest-rate swaps.

Net income declined to 31.4 million euros ($42.2 million) in the three months ended July 31 from 59.4 million euros a year earlier, the Vienna-based developer said today in a report. Excluding currency swings, profit rose 17 percent as rental income increased 2.5 percent in the period, Immofinanz said.

“The continuous optimization of the portfolio and costs, the completion of development projects and an increased focus on cash-flow generation should support a further improvement in operating results,” Immofinanz said in the report. Net income is expected to decline by 12 percent to 278.2 million euros this year, according to the average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Immofinanz, which competes with companies including Atrium European Real Estate Ltd. and CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, sold 317 million euros of assets in the quarter. The disposals were part of its plan to sell 2.5 billion euros of properties outside of Germany, Austria and the six eastern European countries on which it focuses.

Immofinanz’s shareholders are due to meet on Sept. 28 in Vienna. The company has proposed paying them its first dividend since 2007 after profit quadrupled last year. Chief Executive Officer Eduard Zehetner plans to raise the payout from 10 cents for last year to 15 cents for fiscal 2012 and to 20 cents for the following year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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