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NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL-With plans to focus on properties in core markets, locally based REIT Equity One Inc. plans to sell $250 million in assets over the next two years, Equity One CEO Jeff Olson said during a conference call Wednesday. The company expects to sell $150 million in property in 2007 and $100 million in 2008. “Our strategy is to focus on core markets and dispose of properties where we don’t have critical mass,” Olson says.

The company reported that funds from operations for the fourth quarter were $20 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, compared to $28 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2005. For the year ended Dec. 31, FFO was $110.3 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, compared to $124.8 million, or $1.67 per diluted share a year ago.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $29.1 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, compared to $17.8 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2005. Net income for the year was $177 million, or $2.38 per diluted share, compared to $92.7 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, for 2005, the company reports.

Olson says one of the biggest challenges over the past several months have been changes to personnel. The company has seen numerous changes in its top management structure and has downsized from 239 employees on Sept. 1 to 150 employees today.

“The last several months have been challenging. We’ve downsized considerably,” Olson says. “We do not expect significant changes moving forward.”

In addition to shedding properties in non-core markets, Equity plans to invest capital in assets with development or redevelopment potential, push for occupancy and rent increases in existing properties, upgrade technology and invest in its employees, Olson says.

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