Property group CA Immo core income flat, sticks to dividend plan for now

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VIENNA, May 26 (Reuters) – Commercial property group CA Immo said its first-quarter core income was flat as property markets were on hold and investment decisions had been deferred as businesses tried to gauge the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The Vienna-headquartered group, which mainly invests in offices in Austria, Germany and central and eastern Europe, said on Tuesday the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business could not be conclusively assessed given the pace of developments. But the company said it expected the impact to be minor and short-term compared with the retail and hotel sectors.

Funds from operations, a measure of recurring free cash flow and the company’s key indicator for operational strength, were at 30 million euros ($33 million) in the three months through March after 29.6 million the previous year, the group said.

The company booked write-offs of 11.1 million euros, saying the sum reflected a three-month loss of rent for some of its properties that were severely impacted by the pandemic such as hotels and shops.

Rental income rose 7.2% to 62.4 million euros thanks to an increasing number of properties in its portfolio and a high letting rate.

CA Immo said it would stick to its dividend proposal of 1 euro per share for 2019 for now but reserved the right to adjust it until the annual shareholder meeting which will be held on August 25. ($1 = 0.9116 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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