JERUSALEM May 22 Israeli real estate developer
Azrieli Group reported an 8 percent rise in quarterly
profit as lower costs offset flat income from property rentals.
Azrieli, which is controlled by Canadian businessman David
Azrieli, said on Thursday it earned 209 million shekels ($60
million) in the first quarter, up from 194 million a year
Funds from operations (FFO) in its real estate business rose
4 percent to 192 million shekels. Net operating income (NOI),
which reflects the group's core business, edged 1 percent higher
to 280 million shekels, reflecting growth in the Israeli office
NOI in income producing properties in the United States
dipped 8 percent in the January-March period, weighed down by
the sale of property in Houston and a weaker shekel versus the
dollar, Azrieli said.
"The group's growth strategy, which focuses on improving our
income-producing properties and expanding our portfolio through
acquisitions and development, is reflected in our strong
financial results and in significant progress on the development
pipeline, which will begin to contribute to NOI in 2015," said
Yuval Bronstein, Azrieli's chief executive.
The company's costs during the quarter fell to 1.77 billion
shekels from 2.01 billion a year earlier.
During the quarter, Azrieli invested 239 million shekels in
investment properties. It invested 1.04 billion shekels in all
($1 = 3.4928 Israeli shekels)
(Reporting by Steven Scheer)