UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS-Dutch shopping center REIT/FBI Corio reported a 2009 net loss of $179 million, narrowing the $325.3 million loss from 2008, but saw its direct result rise nearly 7% helped by a climb in rental income. The indirect result saw portfolio depreciations reach 6.3%, contributing to a 2.5% fall in its balance sheet assets to $7.98 billion. It is recommending a dividend little changed at $3.59.

“After a disastrous year in the financial markets in 2008, 2009 was the year of the aftermath,” says CEO Gerard Groener. “Amid widespread corporate restructuring, Corio maintained a firm course and showed great resilience throughout the year. A major focus for us, as with all companies, was our balance sheet and the need to secure our own longer term funding at sustainable rates. Even for highly respected companies like Corio this was a challenge as the availability of funding in the market shrank to near zero and any financing that could be obtained came at a high price. Funding growth and securing redemption schemes took up a good deal of management time.”

Like-for-like growth in net rental income for retail was 1.7%. It said its average occupancy rate for the total portfolio was 96.2% in 2009, down slight from 96.8%.

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