JERUSALEM, May 26 (Reuters) - Israeli real estate investment company Gazit-Globe Ltd GLOB.TA reported an 18 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by higher rental income.
Net profit rose to 267 million shekels ($67 million), or 2.13 shekels per diluted share, from 226 million shekels, or 1.79 shekels a share, a year earlier.
The rise in quarterly profit followed a net loss of 865 million shekels in the fourth quarter, due to a drop in property valuations.
Gazit-Globe said rental income rose 9 percent in the first three months of 2009 to 662 million shekels.
The results were helped by including those of DIM Vastgoed NV, a Dutch investment company that owns 21 shopping centers in the U.S and in which Gazit-Globe’s Equity One EQY.N unit acquired a controlling share in January.
“We are satisfied that despite the global recession, Gazit-Globe continued to keep impressive stability in its core operations,” Michael Bar Haim, its chief executive, said in a statement.
He noted that Gazit-Globe was continuing to study all business opportunities.
The company said it would distribute a dividend of 0.36 shekel a share -- or a total of 45.1 million shekels -- on July 6 as part of its plan for an annual payout of 1.44 shekels.
Gazit-Globe operates in the United States through Equity One Inc, in which it owns 40 percent, and in Canada through 54 percent-owned First Capital Reality Inc (FCR.TO). It is also the largest shareholder in Finland’s Citycon (CTY1S.HE) and last year it took over Atrium European Real Estate ATRV.VI. ($1 = 3.98 shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)