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ORLANDO-Shareholders in 18-year-old Commercial Net Lease Realty Inc. continue to receive good news as the locally based retail and office REIT chalks up strong third-quarter and nine-month results.

Funds from operations in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 were $17 million, or 37 cents a share, compared to $14.5 million, or 36 cents per share, in the comparable 2002 period. For the nine months, FFO was $45.7 million, or $1.08 per share, versus $43 million, or $1.06, for the same period last year.

Third-quarter net earnings totaled $14.4 million, or 32 cents per share, against $7.6 million, or 19 cents per share, in the 2002 period. For the nine months, net earnings were $34.8 million, or 83 cents per share, compared to $31.8 million, or 78 cents per share, last year.

Revenue in the quarter increased to $27 million from $23 million a year ago. Nine-month revenue was $74 million, up from $68.5 million in the comparable 2002 period.

The quarterly and nine-month numbers pleased Gary M. Ralston, president and chief operating officer of CNLR. “We are particularly happy to recently declare our fourth quarter common dividend, which marks the 14th consecutive annual increase in our dividends per share,” Ralston says.

CNLR broadened its retail portfolio base this year by investing in $148.6 million of office assets in two structures in the Pentagon City submarket of Washington, DC. The company and its affiliated subsidiaries have invested a total $170.5 million in new properties and construction in progress this year.

Ralston says 83% of the REIT’s base rent is derived from retail properties and 17% from office properties. The company owns, either directly or through investment interests, 348 properties in 39 states with a gross leasable area of about 7.4 million sf. These properties are leased to 128 corporations in 47 industrial classifications.

As of Sept. 30 of this year, CNLR’s portfolio totaled 7.3 million sf of gross leasable area. Occupancy increased slightly to 97.2%. “Only 10 properties with 203,000 sf of gross leasable area are available for lease,” Ralston says.

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