November 12, 2012 / 7:26 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Deutsche Wohnen raises 2012 outlook

* Expects funds from operations at least 65 mln euros

* Previously expected 60-65 mln euros

* Nine-month FFO 52.4 mln euros, up 31 percent

* Shares up 2 pct, MDAX unchanged (Adds comments on takeovers, updates shares)

By Peter Dinkloh

FRANKFURT, Nov 12 (Reuters) - German real estate group Deutsche Wohnen raised its 2012 profit outlook for a second time this year after increasing rents, leasing more apartments and selling more flats.

Real estate has become a sought-after investment in the euro zone as it is considered almost as safe as government bonds, whose interest rates hover at record lows.

“Demand for properties as an investment continues to increase,” the company said on Monday.

Deutsche Wohnen said it now expected full-year funds from operations (FFO) of at least 65 million euros ($83 million), up from previous guidance for 60-65 million.

The company raised its outlook earlier this year after the acquisition of 24,000 flats from British bank Barclays in June.

Its share rose 2 percent at 14.21 euros by 1155 GMT, making them the second-biggest riser on the MDAX index of medium-sized companies traded in Frankfurt, which was unchanged.

In the first nine months of the year, funds from operations, without disposals, rose 31 percent to 52.4 million euros, Deutsche Wohnen said.

Chief Executive Michael Zahn said in a conference call he was interested in both the 38,000 flats Gagfah is selling in Dresden and the 32,000 flats in southern Germany put up for sale by BayernLB.

He said keen interest in the BayernLB flats would be reflected in the price, so that Deutsche Wohnen would not be “in the driver’s seat” for the sale.

Sales of several large portfolios of flats are making this year one of the busiest on the market for residential real estate, just as interest for flats as a safe investment is picking up. ($1 = 0.7868 euro) (Additional reporting by Kathrin Jones, Christoph Steitz andd Hakan Ersen; Editing by Dan Lalor and David Cowell)

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