* Records gain of 32 cents a share due to stake sale
* Leased 1.9 mln square feet of space, avg net rent higher
* “Strongly positioned” to maintain performance through economic downturn (In U.S. dollars)
TORONTO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Brookfield Properties BPO.TO BPO.N, one of Manhattan’s biggest landlords, reported higher third-quarter funds from operations on Wednesday, while net income jumped, primarily because of a property sale gain.
Funds from operations rose to $152 million, or 38 cents a share, from $146 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding the impact of Hurricane Ike during the quarter, FFO was 40 cents per share.
Analysts had expected, on average, FFO of 37 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Funds from operations are a benchmark measure in the real estate sector, aimed at removing the distorting effects of depreciation.
Net income rose to $174 million, or 44 cents a share, from $3 million, or nil a share.
Brookfield said the quarter included a $127-million net gain, or 32 cents a share, from the sale of a 50-percent stake in an office tower in Toronto. Damage from Hurricane Ike on its Houston assets cut into results with a one-time net cost of $8 million, or 2 cents a share.
Revenue rose 4 percent to $718 million from $691 million.
During the quarter, Brookfield leased 1.9 million square feet of space at an average net rent of $28.42 a square foot, which is 22 percent higher than the average in-place net rent at the beginning of the quarter.
Ric Clark, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that Brookfield is “strongly positioned” to maintain its performance through the economic slowdown and would keep an eye out to bolster its portfolio.
“At the same time, we are working to generate additional liquidity in order to take advantage of opportunities that will undoubtedly arise in this market.”
Brookfield’s 74-million-square-foot portfolio is comprised of interests in 108 properties and includes the World Financial Center in Manhattan, Brookfield Place in Toronto, and Bankers Hall in Calgary. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Derek Caney)