TEL AVIV, March 20 (Reuters) -
* Israeli real estate developer Azrieli Group reported on Wednesday fourth-quarter net profit of 459 million shekels ($127 million), up from 312 million shekels a year earlier.
* Revenue from rent and maintenance and management fees increased to 534 million shekels from 479 million.
* Azrieli, which built Tel Aviv’s Azrieli office and shopping complex, said net operating income (NOI), which reflects the group’s core business, rose 8 percent to 388 million.
* Occupancy rates at its shopping malls stood at 98 percent.
* It declared a dividend of 560 million shekels, or 4.62 shekels a share, up 8 percent from 2017.
* “We are continuing to vigorously develop several projects in parallel, and have invested around 1.9 billion shekels this year in development, in the purchase of new properties and in the upgrade and improvement of existing properties,” CEO Eyal Henkin said.
* Last month, Bank Leumi sold credit card unit Leumi Card to U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus for 2.5 billion shekels. Azrieli, which had owned a 20 percent stake in Leumi Card, said it will reap 500 million shekels.
* ($1 = 3.6055 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer)