19 Apr 2010

Industrial property firm lifts profit

2:58 pm on 19 April 2010

Listed industrial property company Property for Industry has lifted its first quarter underlying profit by more than 10%.

The company says rental income rose to slightly more than $8 million in the first three months of the year - 3.2% higher than the same period last year.

The company's net after-tax profit climbed 18% to $4.69 million. Once a previous tax credit is excluded, its underlying profit climbed 10.7%.

Interest payments - the company's single largest expense - were virtually unchanged at just over $2 million in the quarter as lower interest rates offset higher debt levels.

Property for Industry general manager Ross Blackmore says there has been strong demand from tenants and 98.6% of its portfolio was occupied at the end of March.

Mr Blackmore says the company has signed eight new leases and renewals so far this year, representing 23,000 square metres of floor area and a rent roll of almost $2.5 million.

The company will pay an unchanged dividend of 1.55 cents a share.