Brookfield Asset posts lower profit but raises dividend
* Earnings slide on higher costs; revenue rises
* Funds from operations higher
* Brookfield raises dividend by 7 percent
TORONTO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Brookfield Asset Management's profit slid 19.2 percent in the fourth quarter because of a sharp rise in costs, but the Canadian property, power and infrastructure investor raised its dividend due to rising cash flows.
Brookfield Asset said on Friday that it had earned $776 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with $960 million, or 86 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 30.6 percent to C$5.4 billion, while direct costs jumped 49.7 percent to C$4.1 billion.
Funds from operations, a measure of cash flow for real estate management companies, rose to C$459 million from C$397 million, prompting the company to raise its quarterly dividend by 7 percent to 15 Canadian cents, it said.
Shares of Brookfield Asset were down 0.5 percent at C$38.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Brookfield Asset said last year that it would spin off its commercial real estate holdings in a new company that will be listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges sometime this year.
Brookfield Property Partners will trade under the ticker symbol "BPY" and will comprise substantially all of Brookfield Asset's commercial property operations, including a 50 percent stake in office landlord Brookfield Office Properties.
Brookfield said on Friday that the entity will be launched in the near future.
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