Duke Realty posts higher quarterly profit, revenue

Higher occupancy and growth in rents helped Duke Realty Corp. post an increase in revenue, profit and funds from operations in the first quarter, the Indianapolis-based real estate developer said late Wednesday afternoon.

Duke’s quarterly revenue rose 1.1 percent, to $267.4 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had expected revenue of only $239.2 million.

Rental income climbed 2.9 percent, to $214.6 million, while general contracting and service-fee revenue fell 5.7 percent, to $52.8 million.

Duke’s profit increased to $65.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with $18.7 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Funds from operations for the quarter hit $109 million, or 31 cent per share, compared with $93.2 million, or 28 cents per share in the first quarter of 2014.  FFO is a common measure of performance for real estate investment trusts. FFO exceeded analyst expectations by 1 cent.

Duke saw its portfolio occupancy rate climb to 94.5 percent from 93.8 percent in the previous quarter.

The company started $80 million of new developments in the first quarter and executed $161 million in dispositions, as it continues to focus on industrial projects.

Duke’s shares closed at $19.98 each prior to the earnings announcement.

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