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PHILADELPHIA-Locally based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust makes a strong showing in third-quarter 2002 and year to date. Its third-quarter funds from operation rose 14.6% to $12.3 million compared to the same quarter a year ago.

FFO per share rose 8.1% in third-quarter this year.

The increase resulted from the completion of development projects, the acquisition of a 30%-interest in Willow Grove Park (Willow Grove, PA), and a 100%-interest in Beaver Valley Mall near Pittsburgh, along with internal growth in the company’s retail portfolio and a $300,000 payment from its claim against Bradlees Stores, Inc.

In addition, PREIT’s combined net operating income from wholly owned properties and its proportionate share of partnerships and joint ventures was up 20% to $26.5 million in the same quarter this year. After eliminating lease terminations from both periods, NOI was up 18.6% in third-quarter 2002.

FFO for the nine months ended Sept. 30 was $35.615 million, up 14.6% in comparison with the comparable nine months a year ago. Nine-month NOI, less lease termination fees, was $75.917 million, up 16.1% over the same period the previous year.

Retail same-store occupancy levels in third-quarter 2002 increased to 95.9% from 93.1% in third-quarter 2001. Same store mall properties, however, reported a sales decrease of 3.8% to an average of $386 per sf in this year’s third quarter.

“We are especially pleased…that Wal-Mart has signed a lease to occupy space previously leased to Bradlees at our Northwest Tower Center (in Philadelphia),” says PREIT chairman and CEO Ronald Rubin in a statement. Wal-Mart took the 114,270-sf space at a rental rate of $6.25 per sf.

Occupancy in PREIT’s multifamily portfolio dropped in third-quarter 2002 to 95.1%, down from 95.2% in the second quarter and down from 96.3% in third-quarter 2001.

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