March 5, 2020 / 8:07 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Vonovia confirms 2020 outlook for operating earnings

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BERLIN, March 5 (Reuters) - Vonovia, Germany’s biggest residential property company, on Thursday confirmed its 2020 forecast for funds from operations (FFO) to hit between 1.275 billion euros and 1.325 billion euros ($1.42 billion - $1.48 billion).

Vonovia, which owns roughly 416,000 flats in Germany, Austria and Sweden, said FFO - its operating earnings - increased by around 8% to 1.219 billion euros, adding that beat its forecast of between 1.165 billion and 1.215 billion euros.

It said that was helped by new construction plus the integration of Austria’s Buwog and Swedish firm Victoria Park.

“The positive business trend points to a favorable outlook for 2020,” said Vonovia, which since January has held a roughly 95% stake in Swedish residential property company Hembla.

Vonovia said it planned to increase its dividend by 9% to 1.57 euros per share.

It said it had acquired real estate developer Bien-Ries AG and expected the transaction to go through in early April after antitrust approval.

It did not give financial details but said Bien-Ries had around 2,500 units of accommodation in the pipeline and around 900 of those would become part of Vonovia’s assets as rented apartments after the deal is completed. ($1 = 0.8979 euros) (Reporting by Michelle Martin Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Alexander Smith)

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