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FARMINGTON HILLS, MI-The sale of property was what boosted Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust’s earnings during the first quarter, president and chief executive officer Dennis Gershenson told investors during a first quarter earnings call Thursday.

The company sold seven properties, with a total of 935,000 sf, for $47 million. Proceeds from the sale were used to pay some of the company’s unsecured revolving credit facility and to fund the company’s business plan. The properties sold were all located in tertiary markets. “With these sales, we have reinforced our focus on metropolitan markets. These sales are the first step in the strengthening of our portfolio,” Gershenson said.

The company reported FFO of $13.5 million for the quarter, an increase of 13.4% from first quarter 2005′s FFO of $11.9 million. On a per-share basis, FFO increased 3.3% to 62 cents per diluted share, up from 60 cents last year. Net income increased 21.1% to 23 cents during the quarter, up from 19 cents in 2005.

Throughout the remainder of 2006, the company plans to continue with development and redevelopment efforts. At the end of the quarter, the company had four shopping centers under development including the River City Marketplace in Jacksonville, FL; Beacon Square in Grand Haven; Rossford Pointe in Rossford, OH; and the Shoppes of Fairlane Meadows in Dearborn. In addition, the company had seven redevelopment projects with a total cost of $28.6 million under way.

For 2006, the company is estimating that annual diluted FFO will be between $2.53 and $2.58 and earnings per diluted share to be between 79 cents and 84 cents.

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