UPDATE 1-Cofinimmo sees dip on Brussels rents, contract break

Fri Feb 8, 2013 2:47am EST

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BRUSSELS Feb 8 (Reuters) - Belgian real estate group Cofinimmo will lower its 2013 dividend and forecast a net result per share below expectations as rents in the Brussels office sector declined and it lost income from buildings scheduled for renovation.

The group, which has a portfolio of office buildings in the greater Brussels area but also owns nursing homes and clinics, said its net result per share would be 7.00 euros in 2013.

This was below the 2012 result of 7.61 and consensus expectations of 7.63 euros per share for 2013.

The fall is partially explained by the cancellation of a rental contract for two buildings in Brussels' European quarter by state-owned bank Belfius, formerly the Belgian unit of bailed out Franco-Belgian lender Dexia.

Belfius paid 11.2 million euros to cancel the contract.

Cofinimmo now expects to pay out 6.00 euros per share in 2014 to reflect 2013 earnings after a planned dividend of 6.50 euros for 2012.

The group said it aimed to reduce the weight of office buildings to below 40 percent of its portfolio, while increasing the number of care homes and clinics to 40 percent.

At the end of 2012 35.4 percent of its portfolio consisted of care homes and clinics and Cofinimmo said it would add new properties in northern Europe over the next three years.

The reduction of office properties will be achieved by selling them or converting them, where possible, into apartment buildings.

To further diversify its property portfolio, Cofinimmo in 2012 signed agreements to build prisons and student dormitories. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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