* Q1 FFO C$0.61/unit vs est FFO C$0.57/unit
* Actively seeking high-quality real estate assets
* Raises monthly distribution to C$11.75/unit
May 7 (Reuters) - Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust REF_u.TO posted first-quarter funds from operations (FFO) above market estimates, and said it is actively seeking high-quality real estate assets.
“Currently we have sufficient capacity to acquire approximately C$548 million of new income property, and we are actively looking to acquire, at appropriate pricing, high-quality real estate assets to add to our portfolio,” Chief Executive Stephen Johnson said in a statement.
For the three months ended March 31, CREIT reported total FFO -- a property measure that strips out the distorting effects of depreciation and other factors from earnings -- of C$40.2 million, or 61 Canadian cents per unit, up from C$37 million, or 61 Canadian cents per unit, last year.
On a per unit basis, there was no quarter-over-quarter FFO increase as a result of the dilutive impact associated with the equity issue completed in April last year, combined with property dispositions exceeding acquisition activities during 2009.
Analysts on average had expected the REIT to post FFO of 57 Canadian cents per unit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
CREIT said its monthly distribution will be increased to 11.75 Canadian cents per unit, payable in July, up from 11.50 Canadian cents per unit.
Shares of the REIT closed at C$27.22 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu) ((email@example.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))