11 Aug 2011

AMP NZ Office Trust underlying profit rises

1:21 pm on 11 August 2011

Commercial office property investor AMP New Zealand Office Trust has experienced a slight rise in underlying profit because it filled more of its buildings.

The listed property investor says distributable profit rose to $61.1 million in the year to June, an increase of about 0.5% compared with the previous period.

Income slipped slightly to $137 million due to the sale of retail units in Wellington and lower rents overall, but the occupancy rate rose to 94% and the average lease term rose to nearly 6 years.

Trust chief executive Scott Pritchard says rents edged down for the first time since 2008 and he's expecting further reductions next year.

The company is forecasting lower operating earnings of 5.1 - 5.4 cents per share due to buildings being emptier with the departure of BNZ and Westpac.

Including re-evaluations, the company made a profit of $10.4 million, a turnaround from the previous year's $43 million loss.

The value of its portfolio fell $36 million to $1.25 billion, mainly due to its ANZ Centre.

Meanwhile, the Trust will now also carry out its own property services on a cost recovery basis.