Gagfah Raises Dividend Target After Profit Increases

Gagfah SA, Germany’s third-largest publicly traded property company, raised its dividend target for 2014 after first-half profit almost doubled.

Gagfah plans to pay a dividend of as much as 35 cents a share, up from a previous target of as much as 25 cents, the Luxembourg-based company said in a statement today. Funds from operations, a measure of a real estate company’s ability to generate cash, will be higher than it previously forecast for this year.

Divestments, rising rents and higher occupancy contributed to the increase in earnings for the owner of more than 141,000 homes. In the first half, the company sold about 3,000 properties and rents rose by 2.4 percent, according to the statement.

“Even if it comes not as a huge surprise, it demonstrates that the company is well on track in terms of operating performance and financing costs,” Baader Bank AG analyst Andre Remke said about the higher earnings forecast. Remke has a buy rating on the stock.

FFO excluding property sales climbed 95 percent in the first half to 93.2 million euros ($125 million), or 43 cents a share, the company said today. Full-year FFO will be as much as 88 cents a share, the company said. The upper end of Gagfah’s previous forecast range was 86 cents.

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