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Brookfield reverses year-ago loss Add to ...

Property developer and manager Brookfield Properties Corp. reported a turnaround in its third-quarter earnings Friday after a big loss in the same period a year ago.

The company, whose main business is owning, developing and managing commercial office properties, said net income in the third quarter was $156-million (U.S.), or 28 cents per diluted share.

That compared with a loss of $288-million, or 66 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Brookfield, which has switched to IFRS accounting rules, said total revenue was $458-million in the three months ended Sept. 30, versus $380-million in the prior-year period.

Funds from operations were $169-million or 32 cents per diluted share compared with $123-million or 28 cents in the same period in 2009.

Commercial property net operating profit for the quarter was $175-million, compared with $171-million in 2009, while residential property net operating income was $32-million, up from $21-million.

Brookfield Office Properties' occupancy rate finished the quarter at 95.1 per cent, up 30 basis points from the previous quarter.

During the quarter, the company entered into a definitive agreement to sell its residential land division for aggregate proceeds of some $1.2-billion.

The agreement will combine the company's residential land development business with Brookfield Homes Corp. to form Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., a diversified North American residential land and housing company with $2.5-billion of assets and an equity value of approximately $1-billion.

Brookfield Office Properties' shareholders will have the opportunity through a rights offering to participate in the ownership of the merged company. Brookfield Asset Management agreed to acquire all shares of the residential land division not taken up as part of the rights offering.

Brookfield also acquired a 16-property Australian office portfolio comprised of eight million square feet in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. With a total equity value of $1.4-billion, the transaction was funded from the company's available liquidity and a subordinate bridge acquisition facility.

"Having completed the first step in our strategic repositioning with the expansion into Australia, we look forward to successfully concluding the next step, divesting our residential land business," president and CEO Ric Clark said.

"Our transformation into a pure-play global office company should result in more transparent performance and growth creating meaningful value for our shareholders."

Brookfield Properties declared a quarterly common share dividend of 14 cents US payable Dec. 31 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 1. Shareholders resident in Canada will receive their dividends in Canadian dollars at the exchange rate on the record date.

Brookfield Office Properties has interests in over 100 properties totalling more than 75 million square feet in the downtown cores of New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Australia.

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