Cafaro sees more internal and external growth ahead for the company.

CHICAGO—First-quarter funds from operations for Ventas Inc. increased 7% year over year to $323.4 million while normalized FFO was $309.8 million, a 5% gain Y-O-Y, the healthcare REIT said Friday. Separately, the company announced that longtime CFO Richard A. Schweinhart would retire at the end of 2014.

For Ventas, Q1 represented “another terrific quarter of superior growth in cash flow and normalized FFO per share,” says Debra A. Cafaro, the REIT’s chaiman and CEO. The REIT attributes the growth to same-store increases in its seniors housing operating and triple-net leased portfolios and to its investments, which during Q1 included acquiring a trio of UK private hospitals for $183 million. The acquisition of the hospitals, which are triple net-leased to the UK’s second largest operator of private hospitals, furthers Ventas’ strategy of international expansion and represented the lion’s share of its Q1 investments.

“We continue to see highly favorable trends in global healthcare real estate that should drive continued internal and external growth for Ventas,” Cafaro says. The company is maintaining its full-year normalized FFO guidance at between $4.31 and $4.37 per diluted share.

Schweinhart, who turns 65 this year, will stay in his current roles as EVP and CFO until year’s end to help ensure a smooth transition, capping a 43-year career in healthcare finance. He joined Ventas in these capacities in 2002; during his 12-year tenure, the company completed more than $21 billion of acquisitions and expanded its market capitalization from $900 million to $19 billion.

“Rick’s contributions to Ventas’ success have been immeasurable,” Cafaro says. The company has commenced a national search for a new CFO, and will consider internal and external candidates.

Last month, Ventas said that longtime board member Sheli Rosenberg would not seek re-election when current term expires on May 15. Rosenberg, whom Cafaro has called a mentor during her early years in the industry, has served on the Ventas board since 2001. Most recently, she chaired the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee.