Duke Realty posts higher quarterly profit, revenue

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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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