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PARIS-French REIT/SIIC Gecina, seeking to focus on its core business after turmoil in its corporate governance, saw rental income fall 1.4% in first quarter, mainly as a result of asset sales, and now expects a small decline in rental income over the year.

Rental income fell 1.4% to $194 million, largely due to last year’s $928 million in asset sales, although the impact was partly offset by full consolidation of the Gecimed healthcare unit. Rents were little changed like-for-like. It expects a limited decline over 2010, with disposals weighing on income and like-for-like revenues contracting slightly due to contract renegotiations and negative indexing.

Logistics was the main weak spot, with rental income down 7.7% like-for-like in Q1 2010 as a result of an increase in vacancies to 26.2%. In the longer run the group is looking for an orderly withdrawal from logistics. Hotels’ rental income also contracted 3.1% in Q1, due to indexing but residential continued to improve, with rents climbing 3.3% like-for-like.

The company made $202 million of investments in Q1, 40% of its full year target, with the 102,000-square-foot Anthos office building in Boulogne accounting for $98 million. It also invested in residential in the Geneva region and Marseille. Disposals slowed to $120 million. Gecina said it is now in a position to diversify its financing by calling on capital markets after the success of its $393 million convertible bond issue last month. It has no major redemptions until 2012, after redeeming 2010 maturities at the start of the year and renegotiating most credit lines maturing in 2011.

Allan Saundersonis a managing editor of Property Investor Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

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