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Gecina Says First-Quarter Income Rose on Occupancy, Debt Costs

Gecina SA, Paris’s largest publicly traded office landlord, said first-quarter earnings rose 1.6 percent on improved margins and occupancy.

Pretax earnings excluding changes in asset values and other items, known as net recurrent income, climbed to 81.2 million euros ($106 million) from 79.9 million euros a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Occupancy increased to 94.1 percent from 93.4 percent and the rental margin gained 1.7 percent to 91.8 percent at the end of the quarter.

Gecina has been restructuring its holdings for the past two years to help cut debt. Net financial expenses fell 15.6 percent on a reduction in debt volume and lower overall debt costs, according to the statement.

“Gecina continued to optimize its portfolio, looking to improve the portfolio’s yield, while adapting it in line with the target asset allocation,” it said. The company aims for a portfolio that’s 70 percent offices and 30 percent other types of real estate.

Paris-based Gecina said 111 million euros of residential assets have been sold or are subject to preliminary sale agreements. It’s also diversifying its tenant base and balancing health-care assets between short-stay and mid -to long-stay assets.

Gross rental income fell 5.2 percent to 143.8 million euros, following asset sales, the company said.

Net recurrent income per share increased 1.9 percent following a buyback program in the first half of last year. Net current income per share will be stable in 2013, the company said.

Gecina in February reported full-year earnings that beat its own forecast as the company’s rental margin widened.

Yesterday, the company said Philippe Depoux will replace Bernard Michel as chief executive officer, while Michel will remain chairman.

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