Charter Hall delivers solid results

Despite recent volatility in the listed property markets, property funds management and development firm Charter Hall Group has delivered strong results for the 2008 financial year, announcing a 56 per cent increase in net profit after tax of $67.5 million for the year ended June 30.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Sydney based group highlighted a 34 per cent growth over 2007 in earnings per share (EPS) and an underlying net profit after tax of $52.7 million.

Contributing to the strong earnings growth was the fee income generated from increased funds under management (FUM), which grew 39 per cent to $3.9 billion from last year’s $2.8 billion.

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Two new funds were created this year, the Charter Hall Umbrella Fund and the Charter Hall Core Plus Retail Fund, extending the group’s business platform to a total of eight unlisted funds.

According to Charter Hall, the group expects continued outperformance of benchmark returns and is well supported in the current market.

“The recent substantial fall in swap rates should positively influence buyer and valuer expectations of discount rates and cap rates.”

The Charter Hall board’s current target for the 2009 financial year is to maintain dividend per share (DPS) at approximately 12.6 cps and an earnings per share (EPS) growth of approximately 5 per cent, provided it is supported by underlying earnings.

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