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VIENNA-Atrium European Real Estate reported a $465 million loss in the first half, as compared to the first half of 2008, according to the company’s second quarter financial earnings report. Company officials say the pre-tax loss is due primarily to the devaluation of its investments, development projects and land.

The company’s asset portfolio was revalued during the first half to total $2.13 billion, a $338 million decline in value. Its land and development portfolio also took a hit, declining in value to $1.02 billion, a $199 million decline.

The shopping center-focused company did however see a 16% increase in gross rental income to $107.2 million. Still on a like-for-like basis, GRI decreased by 6.9% when compared to the first half of 2008.

“Against an ongoing difficult and unpredictable market backdrop, we have been quick to react and made good progress across all areas of the business,” says CEO Rachel Lavine. “The economic climate and lower rental income in some countries have clearly impacted the value of our portfolio. However, despite yields continuing to move out in the second quarter of 2009, movements appear to be getting smaller and we are reaching a more stable level.”

Still despite the first half earnings declined when compared to the more profitable 2008, Lavine remains optimistic about Atrium and its future growth. “Whilst the economic outlook in many of our areas of operation continues to be uncertain, we remain robust in our positive long term outlook,” Lavine says.

“We will continue to assess opportunities arising from the current market conditions and will maintain our focus on making the company more efficient operationally and financially. The strength of our balance sheet and low levels of leverage, the resilience of our asset class combined with the quality of our portfolio and the ability of our management team leaves us well positioned to achieve our aim of being the leading owner and developer of supermarket anchored shopping centres in Central and Eastern Europe.”

As earlier reported by GlobeSt.com, Atrium completed the transformation of its equity capital structure, terminating the Austrian Depository Certificates and exchanging them 1:1 for common stock in a listing on Euronext Amsterdam in addition to the Vienna quotation.

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