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Press release from Marketwire

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Announces 14% Gain in Operating FFO for the First Quarter 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Announces 14% Gain in Operating FFO for the First Quarter 201207:00 EDT Thursday, May 03, 2012TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 3, 2012) - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:REI.UN) ("RioCan") today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.HIGHLIGHTS for the First Quarter of 2012:All figures in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. RioCan's results are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS").RioCan's Operating FFO increased by 14% to $103 million for the three months ending March 31, 2012 (" First Quarter") compared to $90 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a per unit basis, Operating FFO increased 6% to $0.37 per unit from $0.35 per unit in the same period of 2011;During the First Quarter, RioCan acquired interests in 5 properties in Canada and the US aggregating 327,000 square feet at a purchase price of approximately $92 million at RioCan's interest at a weighted average cap rate of 6.4%;RioCan renewed 1.1 million square feet in the Canadian portfolio during the First Quarter at an average rent increase of $1.44 per square foot, representing an increase of 10.0%, compared to 8.7% for the same period in 2011.Overall occupancy was 96.9% at March 31, 2012, compared to 97.4% as at March 31, 2011;RioCan's retention ratio in Canada was 91.2% of expiring leases, an improvement from the renewal retention ratio of approximately 87.1% in the first quarter of 2011;In January RioCan completed the offering of $150 million Series P five-year senior unsecured debentures having a coupon rate of 3.8%; andSubsequent to quarter end, RioCan issued $230 million of equity through the issuance of 8.6 million units at $26.80 per unit."RioCan continues to experience steady growth in FFO based on solid organic growth in the portfolio, as well as from acquisitions completed in the previous quarter," said Edward Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. "We anticipated that 2012 would be a transitional and perhaps a difficult year for some of our tenants, and with a handful that has already proven to be true. However, RioCan is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that arise to improve our centres. As well, RioCan's unique portfolio urban intensification and development possibilities in Canada provide a great avenue for growth, and the opportunity to realize additional value in RioCan's Canadian portfolio."Financial HighlightsOperating Funds from operations ("Operating FFO")RioCan's Operating FFO is a non-GAAP measurement that represents the recurring cash flow generated through the ownership and management of income properties. Operating FFO excludes transactional gains as well as expenditures related to development activities that are no longer capitalized under IFRS. The primary difference between net earnings and Operating FFO is the fair value gain on investment properties. Operating FFO for the First Quarter was $103 million ($0.37 per unit) compared to $90 million ($0.35 per unit) in the first quarter of 2011. The primary reasons for this increase were: a $23 million increase in net operating income ("NOI"), which was due to acquisitions, along with same property growth of 1.6% in Canada. These increases to Operating FFO were partially offset by increased interest expense of $4 million, higher general and administrative expenses of $3 million, and higher Preferred Unit distributions during the First Quarter. Net EarningsRioCan reported net earnings attributable to unitholders for the First Quarter of $342 million ($1.21 per common unit) compared to $347 million ($1.33 per common unit) for the same period in 2011, a decrease of $5 million ($0.12 on a per common unit basis). The decrease is primarily the result of lower fair value gains of $242 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $289 million in the first quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of fair value gains on investment properties, net earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2012 is $100 million as compared to $58 million ($85 million excluding one-time costs related to the early repayment of debt) during the same period in 2011. Same Store and Same Property NOISame store and same property NOI during the First Quarter in Canada increased by 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2011, due largely to fixed rent steps, and new and renewal leasing which positively impacted NOI by $3.1 million. Same store and same property NOI were partially offset by vacancies of $1.1 million. Sequentially, same property and same store NOI decreased 1.9% for the First Quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 primarily due to lower seasonal rental revenues further offset by vacancies, which together negatively impacted NOI by $2 million.Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, the US same store and same property NOI during the First Quarter decreased by 0.6% when compared to the same period in 2011. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, same store and same property NOI increased 1.4% for the First Quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 primarily due to new leasing and increased renewal rates on expiring leases.Portfolio StabilityAs at March 31, 2012:RioCan's Canadian occupancy rate declined to 96.7%, down 70 bps from 97.4% at March 31, 2011 primarily as the result of the closure of certain Premier Fitness ("Premier") and Hart Store locations. Premier leased 10 of its locations from RioCan totaling 291,000 square feet, contributing annual rental revenue of $6.2 million at RioCan's interest. The tenant was removed from receivership protection and RioCan subsequently terminated the leases on eight of the ten locations for non-payment of rents. To date, RioCan has conditional deals with two national gym operators for seven of the eight vacated Premier locations comprising 267,000 square feet out of 278,000 vacated square feet, and is in discussions with a number of conventional retailers for the remaining location. The two remaining Premier locations are in good financial standing and continue to operate within the respective shopping centres. In the case of the Hart Stores, RioCan has successfully leased two of the four vacated locations totaling 53,000 square feet (43,000 square feet at RioCan's interest) out of 107,000 vacated square feet (97,000 square feet at RioCan's interest) at rents that exceeded the Hart rents and is in discussions with a number of national tenants for the remaining two locations;RioCan's US occupancy rate was 97.5% as compared to 98.0% at March 31, 2011;RioCan's overall occupancy rate was 96.9% compared to 97.4% as at March 31, 2011, largely due to the unexpected vacancies in Canada as described above;The portfolio economic occupancy rate represents the occupied net leaseable area for which tenants are paying rent. The portfolio economic occupancy rate was approximately 95.7% compared to 96.3% at March 31, 2011. There is approximately 542,000 square feet for which lease payments are scheduled to start at future dates. The annualized rental revenue for this space is expected to be $12 million;In the First Quarter, RioCan's retention ratio was 91.2% of expiring leases, an improvement from the retention ratio of approximately 87.1% in the first quarter of 2011;RioCan renewed 1.1 million square feet in the Canadian portfolio during the First Quarter at an average rent increase of $1.44 per square foot, representing an increase of 10.0%, compared to 8.7% for the same period in 2011;RioCan renewed approximately 146,000 square feet of space in the US portfolio, at an average rent increase of $1.18 per square foot, representing an increase of 7.2%. The retention ratio for expiring leases was 83.1%;During the First Quarter, at RioCan's interest, new vacancies were 504,000 square feet, an increase from the 269,000 square feet at RioCan's interest incurred in the first quarter of 2011. At March 31, 2012, at RioCan's interest, approximately 91,000 square feet has been re-leased to new tenants;RioCan's Canadian portfolio is concentrated in Canada's six high growth markets (consisting of Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver). Assets in these markets account for about 65.9% of RioCan's Canadian annualized rental revenue (65.9% at Dec. 31, 2011);National and anchor tenants represented about 85.7% of annualized rental revenue at March 31, 2012, compared to 86.8% at March 31, 2011;No individual tenant comprised more than 4.5% of annualized rental revenue. At March 31, 2012 Walmart was RioCan's largest tenant. Portfolio Activity and Acquisition Pipeline During the First Quarter, RioCan completed its acquisition of an interest in five income producing properties (four in Canada and one in the US) at an aggregate purchase price of $92 million, at RioCan's interest, with a weighted capitalization rate of 6.4%. Subsequent to the quarter end, RioCan purchased one additional property in Canada at a purchase price of $3 million north of Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto. RioCan has an additional four properties (two in Canada and two in the US) that are under firm contract that total $95.9 million dollars with a weighted average capitalization rate of 6.6% (calculated taking into account the US dollar transactions at an exchange rate of par).At March 31, 2012, RioCan's fair value of Income Properties was $10.8 billion based on a weighted average cap rate of 6.35%, a decrease of 18 bps from December 31, 2011 ($10.4 billion based on a weighted average cap rate of 6.53%).Acquisitions Completed During the First QuarterCanadaOn January 13, 2012, RioCan acquired an additional 10% interest in three properties in Ontario as described below, from its partner Trinity Development Group ("Trinity"), a developer and manager of large retail centres in Canada. In connection with its purchase from Trinity, RioCan has assumed its proportionate share of the existing mortgage debt that is in place for these properties. Silver City Gloucester: RioCan acquired an additional 10% interest from Trinity in Silver City Gloucester, which brings RioCan's ownership for this property to 80%. Trinity has retained a 20% interest. RioCan will continue to manage the property. Silver City Gloucester is a 227,223 square foot new format retail centre located in Ottawa, Ontario and is tenanted by national tenants such as Famous Players (Silver City) Theatre, Chapters, and Future Shop. The property is 100% occupied. The purchase price for RioCan's additional interest was $7.6 million at a capitalization rate of 6.30%. In connection with its purchase from Trinity, RioCan has assumed its proportionate share of the existing mortgage debt that is in place for this property, representing an additional principal amount of $3.9 million that carries an interest rate of 5.48% and matures in 2017. RioCan Colossus Centre: RioCan acquired an additional 10% interest from Trinity in RioCan Colossus Centre, which brings RioCan's ownership for this property to 80%. Trinity has retained a 20% interest. RioCan will continue to manage the property. Located northwest of the Highway 400 and Highway 407 interchange in Vaughan, Ontario, RioCan Colossus Centre is a new format retail centre with approximately 582,632 square feet of leasable area. The property is 100% occupied. The site is anchored by a Rona, a Cineplex theatre and a Costco (shadow anchor which owns its own premises). The purchase price for RioCan's additional interest was $17.5 million at a capitalization rate of 6.30%. In connection with its purchase from Trinity, RioCan has assumed its proportionate share of the existing mortgage debts that are in place for this property, representing an additional aggregate principal amount of $9.0 million that carries a weighted average interest rate of 5.38% and maturities in 2015, 2021, 2023 and 2025. Trinity Common Brampton: RioCan acquired an additional 10% interest from Trinity in Trinity Common Brampton, which brings RioCan's ownership for this property to 80%. Trinity has retained a 20% interest. RioCan will continue to manage the property. Located at the intersection of Highway 410 and Bovaird Drive in Brampton, Ontario, the property is comprised of a 662,550 square foot new format retail centre. The property is 100% occupied. This property is anchored by a Cineplex theatre, Target and Metro, as well as by Canadian Tire and Home Depot (shadow anchors which both own their own premises). The purchase price for RioCan's additional interest was $18.7 million at a capitalization rate of 6.00%. In connection with its purchase from Trinity, RioCan has assumed its proportionate share of the existing mortgage debt that is in place for this property, representing an additional aggregate principal amount of $8.1 million that carries a weighted average interest rate of 6.21% and matures in 2020.On March 28, 2012, RioCan acquired a 100% interest in Campus Estates, a 72,846 square foot neighbourhood convenience centre located in Guelph, Ontario. The property, built in 1973, has a weighted average lease term of 4.2 years and is anchored by a No Frills (Loblaws), and is complemented by a mix of regional and local convenience tenants such as Cora's, State Farm Insurance, Buffalo Wild Wings and Popeye's Chicken. The property is 98% occupied. The property was acquired for $19.6 million at a capitalization rate of 6.39% free and clear of financing.United StatesOn February 23, 2012, RioCan acquired an 80% interest in Southlake Corners, a 134,894 square foot shopping centre located in the Southlake community in suburban Dallas, Texas. The property is anchored by Staples, HomeGoods (TJX) and Toys R Us and has a weighted average lease term of 6.5 years. The property was acquired on an 80/20 joint venture basis with Retail Properties of America, Inc. (formerly Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, Inc.) ("Retail Properties") for US$35.3 million at 100% (US$28.3 million at RioCan's interest), at a capitalization rate of 6.70%. The property is 99% occupied. Retail Properties will manage the property on behalf of the joint venture. The joint venture purchased the property free and clear of financing. In connection with the purchase, the joint venture procured conventional third party financing on the property of US$20.9 million at 100% (US$16.7 million at RioCan's interest). The interest rate on the loan is 4.88% and expires in 2022. Acquisitions Subsequent to quarter end On April 11, 2012, RioCan acquired a 50% interest in 2453-2457 Yonge Street & 4-6 Erskine Avenue. The property is an 11,682 square foot freestanding building located on the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Erskine Avenue and has a weighted average lease term of 2.18 years. It is anchored by TD Canada Trust and has a mix of ground-floor retail tenants and office and residential tenants on the second and third floors. The property was acquired by NE Holdings Inc., the nominee for the joint venture between RPS Trust (a subsidiary of RioCan), Metropia (Yonge and Eglinton) Limited Partnership and Bazis E Inc. for $5 million at 100% ($2.5 million at RioCan's interest), at a capitalization rate of 3.91%. The joint venture purchased the property free and clear of financing. Acquisitions Under Contract (Firm) CanadaIn Canada, RioCan has waived conditions pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement with respect to two properties that, if completed, represent $44.5 million of additional acquisitions at RioCan's interest with a weighted average capitalization rate of 6.1%.RioCan expects to purchase a 100% interest in 649 Queen Street West, a 14,200 square foot single-tenant property occupied by CB2, the urban version of Crate & Barrel (there is an additional 6,450 square feet of basement space). Built in 1870's and completely renovated in 2011, the property is positioned at the intersection of Queen St. and Bathurst St. with frontage along Queen St. in the downtown core of Toronto, Ontario and has a weighted average lease term of 14.7 years. The purchase price for the property is $13.5 million at a capitalization rate of 4.89% and will be acquired free and clear of financing.RioCan expects to purchase a 100% interest in Chahko Mika Mall, a 173,100 square foot shopping centre in Nelson, BC. The property is 96% occupied and is anchored by Walmart and Save-On-Foods. Other major tenants at the property include, Marks Work Wearhouse, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Source, and Service Canada. The average lease term for the property is 8.5 years. The property was built in 1979 and recently renovated in 2011. The purchase price is $31.0 million at a capitalization rate of 6.7% and will be acquired free and clear of financing.United StatesIn the US, RioCan has waived conditions pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement with respect to two US properties that, if completed, represents US$51.4 million of additional acquisitions at RioCan's interest with a weighted average capitalization rate of 6.9%.RioCan expects to purchase a 90% non-managing interest in Ingram Hills Shopping Center as part of the RC Sterling Joint Venture for a purchase price of US$7.8 million at 100% (US$7.0 million at RioCan's interest) at a capitalization rate of 8.00%. Sterling Corporation, who currently owns a 100% managing interest in the property, will retain a 10% interest and will manage the property on behalf of the joint venture. Ingram Hills is an 80,307 square foot infill grocery anchored neighborhood retail center located in northwest San Antonio, Texas. Ingram Hills is located approximately nine miles northwest of downtown San Antonio at the lighted intersection of Ingram Road and Callaghan Road in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The property is 100% leased. The property was built in 1978 and was renovated in 2003 and has a weighted average lease term of 5.1 years. The property is anchored by a La Fiesta which is a high volume grocer. Other notable tenants include Dollar General, Little Caesars, Chase Bank, Subway and T-Mobile. As part of the acquisition, the joint venture will assume the existing mortgage in the amount of US$4.2 million (US$3.7 million at RioCan's interest) with an interest rate of 6.1% and maturity date of August 1, 2017.RioCan expects to purchase an 80% non-managing interest in Montgomery Plaza with Kimco for a purchase price of US$55.5 million at 100% (US$44.4 million at RioCan's interest) at a capitalization rate of 6.7%. Kimco, who currently owns a 100% managing interest in the property, will retain a 20% interest and will manage the property on behalf of the joint venture. Montgomery Plaza is a 291,160 square foot new format retail center located in Fort Worth, Texas. Montgomery Plaza is located near the downtown core. The property is 89% occupied. The property was built in 2005 and has a weighted average lease term of 6.0 years. The property is shadow anchored by a Super Target (173,890 square foot) and anchored by Office Depot, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, PetSmart, and Michaels (scheduled to open in Fall 2012). Other notable tenants include Dollar Tree, Pier 1 Imports, and Cato. The property will be acquired free and clear of financing. Acquisitions Under Contract (Conditional) RioCan has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Orlando Corporation and Tanger Factory Outlets ("Tanger") to create a strategic alliance to develop designer outlet opportunities on lands within the Heartland Town Centre. Located in the western Greater Toronto Area with access to Highway 401, Heartland Town Centre is one of Canada's largest and most successful power centres. It is the intention of the parties to add a newly designed ground up factory outlet centre of approximately 312,000 square feet to the highly productive 2 million square feet of retail space currently at Heartland Town Centre. RioCan and Tanger have terminated the previously announced acquisition of a 35 acre parcel land located in Halton Hills, on Highway 401 at the James Snow Parkway interchange, which was originally proposed as an outlet mall development site for the Tanger/RioCan joint venture. Acquisition Pipeline RioCan is currently in negotiations regarding property acquisitions in Canada and the US that, if completed, represent approximately $120 million of additional acquisitions (calculated taking into account the US dollar transactions at an exchange rate of par). These transactions are in various stages of negotiations and while efforts will be made to complete these negotiations, no assurance can be given. Liquidity and Capital The 12 month rolling EBITDA interest coverage for RioCan at March 31, 2012 was 2.49x compared to 2.45x at December 31, 2011. As at March 31, 2012, RioCan's indebtedness net of cash was 46.0% of total assets a decrease of 40bps from year end (46.4%). RioCan's Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA at March 31, 2012 was 7.3x unchanged from 7.3x at December 31, 2011. RioCan's Net Operating Debt to Adjusted Operating EBITDA, which excludes debt related to properties under development was 7.06x at March 31, 2012 compared to 7.04x at December 2011. As part of RioCan's capital management strategy, it is RioCan's objective to strengthen its balance sheet as well as improve its coverage ratios over time. RioCan has the continued flexibility to generate additional funds in 2012 through financing maturing loan balances as well as repay additional balloon balances to increase the size of RioCan's pool of unencumbered assets. As at March 31, 2012, RioCan had 70 properties that are unencumbered with a fair value of approximately $865 million. RioCan's unencumbered pool is now in excess of $1 billion as a result of the early repayment of $90.3 million (at RioCan's interest) of secured debt in April 2012, that was secured by four assets that have a fair value of $143 million.Unit OfferingsSubsequent to the quarter end, RioCan completed the public offering of approximately 8.6 million units, in total, for total gross proceeds of about $230 million. Mortgage Financing Canada In the First Quarter, RioCan obtained approximately $83 million of fixed-rate mortgage financing at a weighted average interest rate of 2.7% with a weighted average term to maturity of about 5.1 years. US In the First Quarter, RioCan obtained approximately $33 million of fixed-rate mortgage financing at an average interest rate of 5.2% with a weighted average term to maturity of about 7.8 years.Unsecured DebenturesAs at March 31, 2012, RioCan had seven series of Debentures outstanding totalling $969 million (December 31, 2011 - six series totalling $ 822 million). On January 26, 2012 RioCan completed the offering of $150 million Series P five-year senior unsecured debentures that have a coupon rate of 3.8%.Lines of CreditRioCan has four revolving lines of credit in place with three Canadian chartered banks, having an aggregate capacity of $429 million against which approximately $33 million has been drawn and $25 million has been drawn as letters of credit leaving $371 million available for cash draws under the lines of credit. Subsequent to the quarter end, RioCan used its lines to repay approximately $93 million of secured financing, which was subsequently repaid with the proceeds of RioCan's Unit offering that was completed in April 2012. Development Portfolio As at March 31, 2012, RioCan had ownership interests in 10 greenfield development projects that will, upon completion, comprise about 8.9 million square feet (4.6 million square feet at RioCan's interest). In addition to its development projects, RioCan continues its urban intensification activities, primarily in the Toronto, Ontario market. RioCan has waived conditions pursuant to the purchase and sale agreement with respect to one development site that, if completed, represents an acquisition of $16 million, at RioCan's interest.RioCan's Unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements, Management's Discussion and Analysis and a Supplemental Information Package for the three months ended March 31, 2012 are available on RioCan's website at www.riocan.com.Conference Call and WebcastInterested parties are invited to participate in a conference call with management on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. eastern time. You will be required to identify yourself and the organization on whose behalf you are participating. In order to participate, please dial 416-340-8527 or 1-888-340-9655. If you cannot participate in the live mode, a replay will be available until June 12, 2012. To access the replay, please dial 905-694-9451 or 1-800-408-3053 and enter passcode 4480535#. Scheduled speakers include Edward Sonshine, O.Ont., Q.C., Chief Executive Officer, Fred Waks, President and Chief Operating Officer and Rags Davloor, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Management's presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. To ask a question, press "star 1" on a touch-tone phone. The conference call operator will be notified of all requests in the order in which they are made, and will introduce each questioner. Alternatively, to access the simultaneous webcast, go to the following link on RioCan's website http://investor.riocan.com/Investor-Relations/Events-Webcasts/default.aspx and click on the link for the webcast. The webcast will be archived 24 hours after the end of the conference call and can be accessed for 120 days. About RioCanRioCan is Canada's largest real estate investment trust with a total capitalization of approximately $13 billion as at March 31, 2012. It owns and manages Canada's largest portfolio of shopping centres with ownership interests in a portfolio of 333 retail properties containing an aggregate of 80 million square feet, including 46 grocery anchored and new format retail centres containing 12 million square feet in the United States through various joint venture arrangements. RioCan's portfolio also includes 10 properties under development in Canada. For further information, please refer to RioCan's website at www.riocan.com. Forward-Looking Information This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements made in this News Release (including the sections entitled "Highlights for the first quarter of 2012", "Financial Highlights", "Portfolio Stability", "Portfolio Activity and Acquisition Pipeline", "Liquidity and Capital", and "Development Portfolio"), and other statements concerning RioCan's objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management's beliefs, plans, estimates, and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "outlook", "objective", "may", "will", "would", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "should", "plan", "continue", or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking statements in this News Release are qualified by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events or performance and, by their nature, are based on RioCan's current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those described under "Risks and Uncertainties" in RioCan's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the period ended March 31, 2012, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this News Release. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those related to: liquidity in the global marketplace associated with economic conditions, tenant concentrations, occupancy levels, access to debt and equity capital, interest rates, joint ventures/partnerships, the relative illiquidity of real property, unexpected costs or liabilities related to acquisitions, construction, environmental matters, legal matters, reliance on key personnel, unitholder liability, income taxes, the investment in the United States of America ("US"), fluctuations in the currency exchange rate between the Canadian and US dollar and RioCan's qualification as a real estate investment trust for tax purposes. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making an estimate set out in the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to: a stable retail environment; relatively low and stable interest costs; a continuing trend toward land use intensification in high growth markets; access to equity and debt capital markets to fund, at acceptable costs, the future growth program to enable the Trust to refinance debts as they mature; the availability of purchase opportunities for growth in Canada and the US; and the impact of accounting principles adopted by the Trust effective January 1, 2011 under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). Although the forward-looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Certain statements included in this News Release may be considered "financial outlook" for purposes of applicable securities laws, and such financial outlook may not be appropriate for purposes other than this News Release. The Income Tax Act (Canada) contains provisions which potentially impose tax on publicly traded trusts (the "SIFT Provisions"). However, the SIFT Provisions do not impose tax on a publicly traded trust which qualifies as a real estate investment trust ("REIT"). RioCan currently qualifies as a REIT and intends to continue to qualify for future years. Should this not occur, certain statements contained in this News Release may need to be modified.Except as required by applicable law, RioCan under takes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Rags DavloorRioCan Real Estate Investment TrustExecutive Vice President & CFO(416) 642-3554