Boardwalk REIT Announces Solid Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Financial Results; FFO Per Unit For 2008 up 15.5% and DI Per Unit For 2008 up 14.2% YOY; and Confirms Monthly Per Unit Distribution for February, March and April 2009.

    CALGARY, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust ("BEI.UN"
- TSX) Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust ("Boardwalk", "Boardwalk REIT"
or the "Trust") today announced solid financial results for the fourth quarter
of 2008 and fiscal 2008; Funds From Operations ("FFO") per unit up 13.0% and
Distributable Income ("DI") per unit up 10.9% for the fourth quarter of 2008
compared to the same period last year and full-year FFO per unit up 15.5% and
DI per unit up 14.2% YOY; and its February, March, and April 2009
Distribution. FFO and DI are non-GAAP measures; the reconciliation to Net
Earnings and Total Operating Cash Flows, respectively, can be found in the
Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the fourth quarter ended
December 31, 2008, under the section titled, "Performance Measures". During
fiscal 2008, the Trust acquired a total of 297 residential units in Calgary,
Alberta and one residential unit in Edmonton, Alberta.
    For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, the Trust reported FFO of
$32.5 million and FFO per unit of $0.61 on a diluted basis, compared to FFO of
$29.9 million and FFO per unit of $0.54 for the same period last year. DI for
the quarter was $32.8 million and DI per unit was $0.61 on a diluted basis,
compared to $30.8 million and $0.55 per unit for the same period last year.

    Change to Quarterly Reporting Format

    As of the third quarter of 2008, the Trust adopted a new reporting
format. The goal of the new easier-to-read format is to reduce repetition and
provide a high-level overview of our results. A more detailed analysis is
included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis and Consolidated
Financial Statements, which have been filed on SEDAR and can be viewed at or on the Trust's website at

    $ million, except per unit amounts
    Highlights of the Trust's Fourth Quarter 2008 and Year-End 2008 Financial
                       Three      Three            Twelve     Twelve
                      Months     Months    %       Months     Months    %
                    Dec 2008   Dec 2007  Change  Dec 2008   Dec 2007  Change

    Rental Revenue    $108.1      $99.0    9.2%    $424.0     $375.0   13.1%

    Net Operating
     Income (NOI)      $66.7      $61.6    8.3%    $266.0     $235.5   13.0%

    Funds From
     (FFO)             $32.5      $29.9    8.7%    $129.9     $116.5   11.6%

    FFO Per Unit       $0.61      $0.54   13.0%     $2.39      $2.07   15.5%

     Income (DI)       $32.8      $30.8    6.3%    $131.4     $118.7   10.7%

    DI Per Unit        $0.61      $0.55   10.9%     $2.41      $2.11   14.2%

     Declared          $24.1      $24.1             $98.0      $89.5

     Per Unit          $0.45      $0.43             $1.80      $1.59

    (2008 Target
     $1.80 Per Unit
     on an annualized

    Payout as a
     % DI              73.6%      78.3%             74.5%      75.4%

    For further detail, please refer to pages 7-10 of the MD&A.

               Portfolio Highlights for the Fourth Quarter 2008
                                                     Dec       Sep       Dec
                                                    2008      2008      2007

    Average Vacancy (3 Months)                     4.68%     4.58%     4.69%

    Average Monthly Rent (3 Months)               $  978    $  977    $  903

    Average Market Rent (Period Ended)            $1,047    $1,070    $1,054

    Average Occupied Rent (Period Ended)          $1,028    $1,027    $  959

    Loss-to-Lease ($ million)                     $  8.0    $ 18.2    $ 39.4

    Loss-to-Lease Per Trust Unit                  $ 0.15    $ 0.34    $ 0.71

    Debt-to-GBV ("Gross Book Value")
     (Period Ended)                                60.5%

                                                % Change
    Same Property Results (3 Months)      Year-Over-Year

    Rental Revenue                                  7.9%

    Operating Costs                                11.9%

    Net Operating Income (NOI)                      5.6%

    For further details, please refer to pages 12-14 of the MD&A.

    Additionally, more detail on our operations will be found in our
conference call presentation to be posted on our web site today at The conference call audio for
this presentation will also be made available on our web site at following the call.

    Sequential Revenue Analysis

    Stabilized       No. of  Q4 2008 vs.  Q3 2008 vs. Q2 2008 vs. Q1 2008 vs.
     Revenue Growth   Units      Q3 2008      Q2 2008     Q1 2008     Q4 2007
    Calgary           4,973        -0.9%         1.3%        3.0%        3.3%
    Edmonton         10,649        -1.0%         3.5%        2.6%        5.3%
    Other Alberta     1,768         1.0%         0.3%        0.1%        3.2%
    British Columbia  1,046         2.0%         1.2%        1.9%        4.1%
    Ontario           4,265         0.0%        -1.2%        0.9%       -0.4%
    Quebec            6,756        -0.5%         2.2%        1.1%        0.0%
    Saskatchewan      4,660         2.8%         5.7%        6.6%        2.7%
                     34,117        -0.1%         2.4%        2.5%        2.9%

    On a sequential basis, stabilized revenues decreased 0.1% from Q3 2008 to
Q4 2008, increased 2.4% from Q2 2008 to Q3 2008, increased 2.5% from Q1 2008
to Q2 2008 and increased 2.9% from Q4 2007 to Q1 2008.

    Market Fundamentals From Across Canada:

    Unemployment, migration and wages

                                      Market Fundamentals
                           BC               Alberta          Saskatchewan
                           --               -------          ------------
                  Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
     Rate             5.3%      4.2%      4.1%      3.2%      4.2%      4.0%

                   Q3 2008   Q3 2007   Q3 2008   Q3 2007   Q3 2008   Q3 2007

    Net Inter-
     Migration       1,484     5,346     4,927      -345     2,064     3,739

    Net Inter-
     Migration      18,254    14,779    12,968     9,308     1,626     1,276

    Total Net
     Migration      19,738    20,125    17,895     8,963     3,690     5,015

                  Nov 2007  Nov 2006  Nov 2007  Nov 2006  Nov 2007  Nov 2006
                        to        to        to        to        to        to
                  Nov 2008  Nov 2007  Nov 2008  Nov 2007  Nov 2008  Nov 2007

    Average Weekly
     Wages Growth     1.3%      3.9%      5.8%      5.6%      4.2%      6.9%

                            Market Fundamentals
                        Ontario             Quebec
                        -------             ------
                  Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
     Rate             7.2%      6.5%      7.3%      7.0%

                   Q3 2008   Q3 2007   Q3 2008   Q3 2007

    Net Inter-
     Migration      -3,200    -4,513    -3,046    -3,570

    Net Inter-
     Migration      35,933    35,372    14,696    12,830

    Total Net
     Migration      32,733    30,859    11,650     9,260

                  Nov 2007  Nov 2006  Nov 2007  Nov 2006
                        to        to        to        to
                  Nov 2008  Nov 2007  Nov 2008  Nov 2007

    Average Weekly
     Wages Growth     2.6%      3.7%      1.4%      2.7%

    Source: Statistics Canada

    Western Canada:

    Despite tempering market fundamentals, our Western markets continued to
show positive results in the fourth quarter of 2008.
    Although the province posted a loss of 16,000 jobs in December,
unemployment in Alberta was 4.1%, still the lowest in the country and well
below the national average of 6.6%. Boardwalk is pleased to note that Alberta
made employment gains in January, with 3,300 jobs created, helping to offset
the loss in December. For 2008, employment growth in Alberta was reported at
1.3%, and it was one out of only three provinces to outperform the national
average of 0.6%. Saskatchewan showed the strongest employment growth in the
country for 2008, at 3.1%, and as of December, had an unemployment rate of
4.2%. Wage growth for both Alberta and Saskatchewan remained strong. In
December, British Columbia posted an unemployment rate of 5.3%, moving the
province to fourth place, behind Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. In
looking at economic development for the Western provinces in 2009, GDP growth
for Saskatchewan is expected to reach 2.2% as a result of continued economic
investment and export of commodities, including potash, uranium, oil and gas,
and agricultural products. With the weakening economy and low price of oil,
several projects in the Alberta oil sands have been put on hold, including
Petro-Canada's $21 billion Fort Hills project and Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd.'s
$345 million Alger project. In addition, Suncor announced in January 2009 that
it will further cut its capital spending on its Voyageur project for 2009 to
$3 billion from the $6 billion announced in October 2008. However, investment
in major Alberta projects remained strong at over $270 billion as of December
31, 2008, with $163 billion related to oil sands development. Imperial Oil
currently plans to move ahead with its $8 billion Kearl project, a positive
note for Alberta oil sands production, and it is estimated that Alberta oil
sands development will total $218 billion over the next 11 years. In the third
quarter of 2008, Alberta saw a population gain of 4,900 as a result of
interprovincial migration, compared to a net loss of 300 migrants in the same
period last year. The province also continued to have the highest demographic
growth for the fourth straight quarter and posted a record level of
international migrants for a third straight quarter. While Saskatchewan posted
a lower net gain from interprovincial migration year-over-year, international
migration was higher in the third quarter year-over-year, and the province
continued to have the highest rate of net migration in the country. British
Columbia had its highest quarterly international migration level since 1997,
and posted the third strongest population growth out of all the provinces.
These healthy levels of migration are expected to continue in 2009,
contributing to continued demand for rental housing in our Western markets.

    Eastern Canada:

    Our Eastern markets continue to suffer as a result of the economic
downturn in the US. Ontario employment has been impacted negatively by a
decline in the manufacturing industry, although the total number of
manufacturing jobs lost in Canada in 2008 was 32,000, an improvement from the
130,000 manufacturing jobs lost in 2007. Unemployment in Ontario was 7.2% as
of December, and Quebec posted an unemployment rate of 7.3% for the same
month, both above the national rate of 6.6%. Employment growth in Ontario for
2008 matched the national average, at 0.6%, while Quebec's employment remained
unchanged. Both Ontario and Quebec saw losses in interprovincial migration
over the third quarter; however, international migration to the provinces
remained strong year-over-year.

    MLS Housing Prices:

    As the rental market is in direct competition with the housing market,
Boardwalk reports on MLS Housing Prices each quarter. This allows us to
predict how our rental markets will perform based on MLS price trends.

                                MLS Housing Prices
    British Columbia                     Vancouver CMA       Victoria CMA
                                      Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
      Average Single Family           $648,421  $730,399  $548,025  $624,450
      Average Condo                         na        na  $280,487  $332,793

    Alberta                               Calgary CMA          Edmonton
                                      Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
      Average Single Family           $417,398  $444,769  $351,870  $382,022
      Average Condo                   $274,919  $304,719  $234,286  $253,270

    Saskatchewan                           Saskatoon            Regina
                                      Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
      Average Overall                 $266,411  $255,885  $242,053  $208,107

    Ontario                                  London             Windsor
                                      Dec 2008  Dec 2007  Dec 2008  Dec 2007
      Average Single Family           $207,747  $226,150        na        na
      Average Condo                   $135,883  $145,411        na        na
      Average Overall                       na        na  $152,589  $159,261

    Quebec                               Montreal (CMA)
                                      Dec 2008  Dec 2007
      Average Overall                 $267,045  $262,406
    Internally generated, NA = Data not available. Source:
    Association of Regina REALTORS(R), Calgary Real Estate Board, Canada
    Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Real Estate Association,
    Edmonton Real Estate Board, London and St. Thomas Association of
    REALTORS(R), Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Saskatoon Region
    Association of REALTORS(R), Victoria Real Estate Board, Windsor-Essex
    County Real Estate Board

    Western Canada:

    With the economic decline, housing prices are continuing to moderate,
athough Saskatchewan saw its prices increase slightly year-over-year compared
to declines observed in the other Western provinces. Average single family
sale prices for Calgary and Edmonton in December 2008 were down 6.2% and 7.9%
year-over-year, respectively, as well as quarter-over-quarter; condominium
prices saw a decline of 9.8% and 7.5%, respectively. However, levels are
projected to remain well above the economic value of renting in 2009. Average
residential sale prices in Vancouver and Victoria both saw a decline in
December year-over-year, but there continues to be a large cost delta between
renting and owning. Average residential sale prices for December in Saskatoon
and Regina were up 4.1% and 16.3% from the same period last year, a more
moderate increase than reported in the fourth quarter of 2007.

    Eastern Canada:

    In Windsor, housing prices remained steady, with the average residential
sale price for December declining slightly by 4.2% year-over-year. The average
single-family sale price for London fell by 8.1% in December, compared to the
same time last year, and the price for condominiums saw a 6.6% decrease in the
same period. In contrast to many other major centres, Montreal saw a small
increase in its average residential sale price for the month of December, at
1.8%, which continues to bode well for the rental market in the city.

    Acquisitions and Dispositions

    With the gap between public apartment companies and private market cap
rates, acquisitions would be highly dilutive at this point in time. However,
there may be a unique opportunity to selectively sell apartment assets to
private buyers and redeploy these proceeds to acquire our Trust Units as part
of our Normal Course Issuer Bid.
    In 2008, the Trust's acquisitions and dispositions were as follow:

    Closed - 2008

                               No. of                                Year 1
    Building Name     City      Units      Type         Price       Cap Rate
    Varsity Square
     Apartments      Calgary     297     High Rise   $ 48,750,000      5.86%

     Acquisitions                297                 $ 48,750,000      5.86%

                              Year 2
    Building Name            Cap Rate    $/unit    $/sq ft       Date Closed
    Varsity Square
     Apartments                6.12%   $ 164,141    $ 207      June 12, 2008

     Acquisitions              6.12%   $ 164,141    $ 207

    Also acquired in the second quarter of 2008 was 1 additional apartment
    unit for the purchase price of $175,000 in the property known as
    Morningside, located in Edmonton, Alberta, of which Boardwalk REIT
    already owned 220 units.

    Dispositions for the fourth quarter of 2008  consist solely of 3 units
    (39 units for the 2008 year) in a 90-unit property located in Calgary,
    Alberta, that was converted into condominiums for sale.

    For further detail, please refer to pages 9 and 19 of the MD&A.

    Unit Buyback

    We continue to believe that one of the best investments we can make is
purchasing our Trust Units at current levels. Under the Normal Course Issuer
Bids, the Trust purchased and cancelled 2,312,000 REIT Trust Units in the
twelve months of 2008, representing a total purchase cost of approximately
$85.4 million, or an average of $36.94 per Trust Unit. Together with the
856,447 Trust Units purchased and cancelled in 2007, the Trust has
cumulatively purchased and cancelled 3,168,447 Trust Units representing a
total purchase cost of approximately $124.0 million at December 31, 2008, or
an average of $39.13 per Trust Unit.
    For further detail, please refer to pages 23-24 of the MD&A.

    Liquidity and Continued Financial Strength

    The Trust continued to build on its solid financial position throughout
the fourth quarter of 2008. Boardwalk REIT's total principal mortgage and debt
outstanding was $2.25 billion as of December 31, 2008, as compared to $1.95
billion as of December 31, 2007. As of December 31, 2008, the Trust's total
debt had an average term maturity of approximately 3 years with a weighted
average interest rate of 4.83% and the debt-to-total enterprise value ratio
was 61.4%.
    At December 31, 2008, the Trust had available cash on its Balance Sheet
of approximately $123 million. In addition, the Trust has access to a
committed revolving credit facility in the amount of approximately $200
million, resulting in a total current liquidity of $323 million. For fiscal
2009, the Trust has maturing mortgages totalling approximately $295 million,
which currently represents an approximate 39% loan-to- underwriting value
ratio and, thus, represents additional potential liquidity.
    Current new and renewal interest financing rates on National Housing Act
insured mortgages are approximately at 3.6%, a rate that is well below the
stated 5.22% on its 2009 maturing mortgages.
    The Trust's interest coverage ratio, excluding gains, for the year ended
December 31, 2008 was 2.29 times compared to 2.31 times for the same period
last year.
    For further detail, please refer to pages 20-23 of the MD&A.

    Outlook and 2009 Financial Guidance

    Our Financial Guidance for 2009 remains unchanged from the last quarter,
and is as follows:

    Description                                     2009 Guidance
    Acquisitions                            No new apartment acquisitions

    Stabilized Building NOI growth                    4% to 6%

    FFO per Trust Unit                             $2.45 to $2.55

    DI per Trust Unit                              $2.47 to $2.57


    As is customary, management will update the market on our Annual 2009
Guidance on a quarterly basis. The reader is cautioned that this information
is forward-looking information and actual results may vary materially from
those reported.
    For further detail, please refer to page 45 of the MD&A.

    2009 Distribution

    The Trust has declared its distributions in the amount of 15.00 cents per
Trust Unit ($1.80 on an annualized basis) as per the following schedule:

    Month                    Record Date                   Distribution Date

    February 2009            Feb 27, 2009                  Mar 16, 2009
    March 2009               Mar 31, 2009                  Apr 15, 2009
    April 2009               Apr 30, 2009                  May 15, 2009

    Supplementary Information

    Boardwalk produces the Quarterly Supplemental Information that provides
detailed information regarding the Trust's activities during the quarter. The
Fourth Quarter 2008 Supplemental Information is available on our investor
website at

    Teleconference on Fourth Quarter 2008 Financial Results

    We invite you to participate in the teleconference that will be held to
discuss these results this same morning (February 13, 2009) at 11:00 am EST.
Senior management will speak to the fourth quarter financial results and
provide an update. Presentation materials will be made available on our
investor website at prior to the call.
    Participation & Registration: Please RSVP to Investor Relations at
403-206-6808 or by email to
    Teleconference: The telephone numbers for the conference are 416-644-3414
(within Toronto) or toll-free 1-800-733-7560 (outside Toronto).
    Webcast: Investors will be able to listen to the call and view our slide
presentation over the Internet by visiting 15
min. prior to the start of the call. An information page will be provided for
any software needed and system requirements. The live audiocast will also be
available at
    Replay: An audio recording of the teleconference will be available from
1:00 pm ET on Friday, February 13, 2009 until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, February
20, 2009. You can access it by dialing 416-640-1917 and using the passcode
21291853 followed by the pound (number) sign. An audio archive will also be
available on our website ( approximately two
hours after the conference call.

    Corporate Profile

    Boardwalk REIT is an open-ended real estate investment trust formed to
acquire all of the assets and undertakings of Boardwalk Equities Inc.
Boardwalk REIT's principal objectives are to provide its unitholders with
monthly cash distributions, partially on a Canadian income tax-deferred basis,
and to increase the value of its units through the effective management of its
residential multi-family revenue producing properties and the acquisition of
additional properties. Boardwalk REIT currently owns and operates in excess of
260 properties with 36,785 units totalling approximately 31 million net
rentable square feet, and is Canada's largest owner/operator of multi-family
rental communities. Boardwalk REIT's portfolio is concentrated in the
provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

    (1) Funds From Operations ("FFO") is a generally accepted measure of
        operating performance of real estate investment trusts and
        companies; however, it is a non-GAAP measure. The Trust calculates
        FFO by taking net earnings after discontinued operations, adjusting
        for gains or losses on disposal of discontinued operation assets and
        extraordinary items, and adding non-cash expenses including future
        income taxes and amortization. The determination of this amount may
        differ from that of other real estate investment trusts and
        companies. Distributable Income ("DI") is calculated based on the
        definition as set out in the Trust's declaration of trust and is
        computed by taking FFO and adding back amortization on any deferred
        financing charges incurred prior to May 3, 2004 as well as adjusting
        for any discounts or premiums relating to the amortization of mark-
        to-market debt adjustment incurred subsequent to the real estate
        investment trust conversion date of May 3, 2004.


    This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to our
operations and the environment in which we operate, which are based on our
expectations, estimates, forecast and projections, which we believe are
reasonable as of the current date . These statements are not guarantees of
future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to
control or predict. For more exhaustive information on these risks and
uncertainties you should refer to our most recently filed annual information
form which is available at Actual outcomes and results may
differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements.
Readers, therefore, should not place undue reliance on any such
forward-looking statements. Further, a forward-looking statement speaks only
as of the date on which such statement is made and should not be relied upon
as of any other date. While we may elect to, we undertake no obligation to
publicly update any such statement to reflect new information or the
occurrence of future events or circumstances at any particular time.

    %SEDAR: 00020684E

For further information:

For further information: Boardwalk REIT, Sam Kolias, CEO, (403)
531-9255; Roberto Geremia, President, (403) 531-9255

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890