Whiterock REIT Announces 2009 First Quarter Results, Posts Increased FFO and AFFO per Unit



    TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ - Whiterock Real Estate Investment Trust
("Whiterock") today announced financial results for the three months ended
March 31, 2009. The following comments and highlights should be read in
conjunction with the unaudited consolidated financial statements and
management's discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31,
2009. These will be available on Whiterock's website at www.whiterockreit.ca.

    
    HIGHLIGHTS - March 31, 2009

    -   Increased FFO - FFO increased 16% to $3.9 million for the three
        months ended March 31, 2009. FFO per unit (basic) increased 1.4% to
        $0.98 per unit in the same period. This represents an 86% FFO payout
        ratio.

    -   Increased AFFO - AFFO for the three months ended March 31, 2009 was
        up 17% to $3.3 million. AFFO per unit (basic) increased 2.6% to $0.82
        per unit in the same period.

    -   Success in Renewing Tenants - To date, 71% of leases up for renewal
        in 2009 have been re-leased.

    -   Solid Rental Rate Increases - Rate increases for 2009 renewals and
        re-leasing averaged approximately 18% year to date.

    -   Increased Financial Flexibility - Year to date, issued $10.1 million
        of equity and $22.2 million of new 5 year term debt in a difficult
        financing environment.

    -   Investment Grade Tenants on Long-Term Leases - 59% of revenues were
        from government and other investment grade tenants. Average lease
        term of the portfolio is 7.7 years, providing strong cash flow
        stability.

    -   Secure Top Ten Tenants - Average remaining lease term of top ten
        tenants, all investment grade and representing 45.9% of revenue, is
        11.4 years.

    -   Long-Term Fixed Rate Debt - Average 6.9 year term for mortgage debt
        at a weighted average interest rate of 5.6%, all at fixed rates.

    -   Geographically Balanced Portfolio - At March 31, 2009, 17% of the
        portfolio's property operating income was in Alberta, 17% in
        Saskatchewan, 24% in Ontario, 29% in Quebec and 13% in Atlantic
        Canada.

    -   Yield - Distribution yield of 23.0% annualized, based on per unit
        distribution for the three months ended March 31, 2009, totaling
        $0.84, and the May 13, 2009 Unit closing price of $14.65.

    -   Tax Efficient Distributions - 100% of the distributions made in 2008,
        2007 and 2006 were classed as return of capital for tax purposes.
    

    "This was a quarter focused on financial flexibility. In 2009 we have
issued $10.1 million of equity and $22.2 million of new 5 year term debt in a
difficult financing environment, and as a result, are prepared to deal with
our upcoming debt maturities. Our FFO payout ratio is 86% and 2009 lease rate
increases are averaging almost 18% to date. Whiterock continues to be an
investment with solid value, a secure distribution and growth potential," said
Whiterock CEO Jason Underwood.


    
    FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
    (including discontinued operations, except as noted)

                                      Three months ended  Three months ended
    (in $000's except per unit data)    March 31, 2009      March 31, 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Total revenue - continuing operations         15,740              13,009
    Property operating income -
     continuing operations                         9,324               7,673

    Funds from operations (FFO)                    3,882               3,355
    FFO per Unit
      - basic                                       0.98                0.97
      - diluted                                     0.94                0.94

    Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO)          3,258               2,784
    AFFO per Unit
      - basic                                       0.82                0.80
      - diluted                                     0.78                0.77
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Balance sheet highlights for Whiterock as at March 31, 2009 and December
31, 2008 are as follows:

    (in $000's)                           March 31, 2009   December 31, 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Investment in real estate assets(1)          445,520             444,960
    Mortgages payable and facilities             286,421             284,154
    Convertible debentures (face value)           55,410              55,410
    Cash                                           2,992                   -
    Unitholders' equity                           76,329              80,069
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Includes $7.3 million of mortgages receivable secured by real estate
        assets.


    Selected financial ratios for Whiterock as at, and for the three months
ended, March 31, 2009 and 2008 are as follows:

                                          March 31, 2009      March 31, 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Weighted average fixed mortgage rate            5.6%                5.4%
    Weighted average debenture rate                 6.8%                7.0%
    Interest coverage ratio(1)                       1.8                 1.9
    Occupancy level(2)                             97.1%               98.8%
    FFO payout ratio(3)                              86%                 87%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Interest coverage for the period is calculated based on property
        operating income less G&A, divided by interest expense (including
        debentures and financing fee amortization) net of interest income.
    (2) Includes leases executed to date and space under head lease.
    (3) FFO payout ratio is calculated as distributions divided by FFO.
    


    In the three months ended March 31, 2009, Whiterock improved its FFO,
AFFO, FFO per unit, AFFO per unit, property operating income and reduced its
payout ratios compared to a year ago.
    The improvement in Whiterock's financial results primarily reflects
accretive acquisitions, the impact of new leases and rent escalations,
partially offset by a decrease in occupancy levels compared to the prior year
period.
    FFO and AFFO are supplemental non-GAAP financial measures used by the
real estate industry to measure and compare the operating performance of real
estate organizations. Whiterock's method of calculating FFO and AFFO may be
different from methods used by other REITs or corporations. A description of
Whiterock's calculation of FFO and AFFO is included in Whiterock's
Management's Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31,
2009.

    CONFERENCE CALL

    Whiterock invites you to participate in its live conference call with
senior management on Thursday May 14, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. E.D.T., to discuss the
REIT's results and achievements for the three months ended March 31, 2009.
    You may participate in the live conference call toll free at
1-866-227-3320 and enter the passcode '302956' followed by the number sign
when prompted by the operator. To ensure your participation, please call five
minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. The call will be archived on
Whiterock's website and available after the call.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements
include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future cash
distributions, financial performance, sale-leaseback opportunities, proposed
acquisitions and equity or debt offerings and the intended use of proceeds
therefor, new markets for growth, financial position, comparable commercial
Real Estate Investment Trusts, proposed acquisitions, and other statements
concerning Whiterock's objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives,
as well as statements with respect to management's beliefs, plans, estimates,
and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events,
results, circumstances, performance or expectations and other matters which
are not historical facts.
    Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use
of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not
expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts",
"intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or
variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or
results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be
achieved", and the negative forms thereof. Such forward-looking statements
reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently
available to management. All forward-looking statements in this press release
are qualified by these cautionary statements.
    Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events or
performance and, by their nature, are based on Whiterock's estimates and
assumptions, which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity,
performance or achievements of Whiterock to be materially different from those
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks include
but are not limited to: the risks related to the market for Whiterock's
securities, the general risks associated with real property ownership and
acquisition, unexpected costs or liabilities related to acquisitions, that
future accretive acquisition or joint venture opportunities may not be
identified and/or completed by Whiterock, lease maturities, risk management,
liquidity and general market conditions, an inability of Whiterock to obtain
debt or equity financing on favourable terms or at all, credit risks, changes
in the competitive landscape, general uninsured losses, interest rate
fluctuations, environmental matters, restrictions on redemptions of
outstanding Whiterock securities, lack of availability of growth and/or
diversification opportunities, over-reliance on anchor or single tenant
properties, potential Unitholder liability, potential conflicts of interest,
the availability of sufficient cash flow, fluctuations in cash distributions,
fluctuations in the market price of Whiterock's units, the risk of failure to
obtain additional financing, dilution, an unforeseen departure of key
personnel, unanticipated adverse changes in legislation, failure to obtain or
maintain mutual fund trust status and delays in obtaining governmental
approvals or financing as well as those additional factors discussed in the
section entitled "Risk Factors" in Whiterock's Annual Information Form which
can be obtained at www.sedar.com. In particular, but without limitation, there
can be no assurance that Whiterock will be to able to continue to increase its
FFO and AFFO. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a
conclusion or making an estimate set out in the forward-looking information
may include, but are not limited to: a less robust leasing environment than
has been seen for the last several years; relatively stable interest costs; an
increase in acquisition capitalization rates and more limited but available
access to equity and debt capital markets to fund, at acceptable costs,
Whiterock's future growth plans, and to enable Whiterock to refinance its
debts as they mature.
    Except as required by law, Whiterock does not undertake, and specifically
disclaims, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements,
whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

    
    The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
    responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
    

    %SEDAR: 00022234E




For further information:

For further information: www.whiterockreit.ca; Jason Underwood, (416)
907-4861; Paul Simcox, (416) 907-4862; Frank Bucys, CFO, (416) 907-4864

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WHITEROCK REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST

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