October 26, 2009 / 10:58 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-RioCan REIT third-quarter FFO down 66 pct

* Portfolio occupancy 96 pct

NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI_u.TO) said on Monday its third-quarter funds from operations or FFO fell 66 percent due to higher interest expenses.

Funds from operations, a key measure used by real estate companies, were C$71.6 million, or 30 Canadian cents a unit in the quarter, down from C$210.1 million, or 92 Canadian cents year earlier.

Analysts had expected FFO of 31 Canadian cents a unit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The trust, which owns more than 200 retail properties, said net earnings were C$28.4 million, or 12 Canadian cents a unit in the three months ended Sept. 30, down 31 percent from a unit a year ago.

The portfolio economic occupancy rate, which represents space that has been leased to tenants that are open for business and paying rent, was 96 percent, RioCan said.

RioCan reported results after the close of the market. Its units finished down 15 Canadian cents at C$17.75 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Juan Lagorio in New York and Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore)

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