* Q1 normalized FFO/unit C$0.30 vs C$0.25 last year
* Occupancy rate rises to 97.8 pct
May 11 (Reuters) - Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAR_u.TO) posted higher normalized funds from operations (FFO), helped by an increase in average monthly rents and improved occupancies.
The REIT’s normalized FFO, which excludes the effect of changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments and certain other non-recurring expenses, rose to C$20 million, or 30 Canadian cents per unit.
That compares to C$16.5 million, or 25 Canadian cents a unit, in the year-ago period.
Funds from operations is a property measure that strips out the distorting effects of depreciation and other factors from earnings.
Canadian Apartment said average monthly rents increased by about 2 percent, with steady increases in all markets except Alberta.
The REIT said occupancy levels increased to 97.8 percent from 97.3 percent last year.
Its units closed at C$13.98 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)