JERUSALEM, March 19 Real estate developer
Azrieli Group on Wednesday reported higher quarterly
profit, boosted by a rise in income from office space rentals.
Azrieli, which is controlled by Canadian businessman David
Azrieli and has numerous investments in Israel including several
shopping malls, earned 407 million shekels ($117.6 million) in
the fourth quarter, up from 370 million a year earlier.
Funds from operations (FFO) in its real estate business rose
9 percent in the quarter to 198 million shekels.
Net operating income (NOI), which reflects the group's core
business, edged 1 percent higher to 278 million shekels. The
gain stemmed from an increase in rent and streamlining measures.
NOI in Israeli retail centres and malls was flat while NOI
in income producing properties in the United States slipped 8
percent in the final three months of 2013.
During the quarter, Azrieli invested 326 million shekels in
investment properties for a total of 1.04 billion in 2013.
The company plans to build a senior housing facility in
"We see this sector as another growth engine and as
synergetic with the company's traditional business," said Yuval
Bronstein, Azrieli's chief executive.
Azrieli's 4.8 percent stake in Leumi, Israel's
second-largest bank, increased in value by 56 million shekels
after taxes due to an 8 percent rise in the share price.
Azrieli also owns Granite HaCarmel, which operates in the
energy, paint and water sectors. Earlier this month, a source
said the firm was in talks to sell its stakes in Granite and its
It declared a dividend of 280 million shekels, or 2.31
shekels a share.
This week, David Azrieli said he is donating 5.7 percent of
the Azrieli Group, a stake worth some 800 million shekels, to
the Azrieli Foundation.
($1 = 3.4606 Israeli Shekels)
(Reporting by Steven Scheer)