Dubai: Emirates REIT (real estate investment trust) secured a win-win with its first-half 2018 results, with property income up 20 per cent and its expenses down by a similar margin.

The value of the portfolio is now at $913.6 million (Dh3.36 billion), up 18 per cent from a year ago. while earnings before interest, tax and other sundry expenses weighed in with $17.8 million ($14 million in the first half of 2017).

The gains in property income was led principally by the acquisition of the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz and of the European Business Centre, along with the increase in leasing of office units at Index Tower and retail outlets at Trident Grande Mall.

The Index Mall is reaching completion and is to open ahead of the Gate Avenue. Tenants have started fitouts for the retail and F&B outlets, REIT said in a statement.

“These results reflect the highest quarterly EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) growth on record to date for Emirates REIT,” said Sylvain Vieujot, Group Chairman of Equitativa, which owns and manages the fund. “It is the result of robust property income and a continuous optimisation of our operating costs. We are confident that Emirates REIT’s portfolio is well-placed to continue to deliver strong, sustainable long-term returns.”

In the second quarter, the funds from operations managed to recover from the first quarter of 2018 dip with a 20 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter to $4.2 million. This reduced the first-half 2018 variance to 7 per cent ($7.7 million versus first-half 2017’s $8.3 million).

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