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2009 Boardwalk REIT Press Release

Boardwalk Rental Communities




TSX SYMBOL:  BEI.UN
				 
May 14, 2009

Boardwalk REIT Announces Solid First Quarter Financial Results; FFO Per Unit up 14.0% and DI Per Unit up 13.7% YOY; and Monthly Per Unit Distributions for May, June and July 2009

Boardwalk REIT Announces Solid First Quarter Financial ResultsDOWNLOAD a PDF copy (Printer Friendly PDF File)


CALGARY, May 14 /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 first quarter
of 2009; Funds From Operations ("FFO") per unit up 14.0% and Distributable
Income ("DI") per unit up 13.7% YOY; and its May, June and July 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 first quarter ended March
31, 2009, under the section titled, "Performance Measures".
     For the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, the Trust reported FFO of
$30.5 million and FFO per unit of $0.57 on a diluted basis, compared to FFO of
$27.7 million and FFO per unit of $0.50 for the same period last year. DI for
the quarter was $30.8 million and DI per unit was $0.58 on a diluted basis,
compared to $28.3 million and $0.51 per unit for the same period last year.

     $ million, except per unit amounts
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Highlights of the Trust's First Quarter 2009 Financial Results
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Three       Three
                                               Months      Months
                                             Mar 2009    Mar 2008    % Change

     Rental Revenue                            $108.2      $102.2        5.9%

     Net Operating Income (NOI)                 $66.0       $60.5        9.0%

     Funds From Operations (FFO)                $30.5       $27.7       10.0%

     FFO Per Unit                               $0.57       $0.50       14.0%

     Distributable Income (DI)                  $30.8       $28.3        8.7%

     DI Per Unit                                $0.58       $0.51       13.7%

     Distributions Declared                     $24.0       $25.0

     Distributions Declared Per Unit            $0.45       $0.45

     (2008 Target $1.80 Per Unit on
      an annualized basis)

     Payout as a % DI                           78.0%       88.2%
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------

     For further detail, please refer to pages 9-11 of the MD&A.


     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Portfolio Highlights for the First Quarter 2009
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Mar 2009    Dec 2008    Mar 2008

     Average Vacancy (3 Months)                 5.34%       4.68%       5.65%

     Average Monthly Rent (3 Months)             $979        $978        $931

     Average Market Rent (Period Ended)        $1,023      $1,047      $1,051

     Average Occupied Rent (Period Ended)      $1,030      $1,028        $994

     Loss-to-Lease ($ million)                  ($3.1)       $8.0       $23.7

     Loss-to-Lease Per Trust Unit              $(0.06)      $0.15       $0.43

     Debt-to-GBV ("Gross Book Value")
      (Period Ended)                            60.6%       60.5%

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

     Rental Revenue                              4.9%

     Operating Costs                            -1.3%

     Net Operating Income (NOI)                  9.1%
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------

     For further details, please refer to pages 13-16 and 20-21 of the MD&A.


     Sequential Revenue Analysis

     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Q1 2009    Q4 2008    Q3 2008    Q2 2008
     Stabilized            No. of     vs. Q4     vs. Q3     vs. Q2     vs. Q1
      Revenue Growth        Units       2008       2008       2008       2008
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Calgary                4,973      -1.3%      -0.9%       1.3%       3.0%
     Edmonton              11,825       0.4%      -1.0%       3.5%       2.6%
     Other Alberta          2,043       0.7%       1.0%       0.3%       0.1%
     British Columbia       1,087      -0.8%       2.0%       1.2%       1.9%
     Ontario                4,265       0.3%       0.0%      -1.2%       0.9%
     Quebec                 6,756      -0.2%      -0.5%       2.2%       1.1%
     Saskatchewan           4,660       1.5%       2.8%       5.7%       6.6%
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           35,609       0.1%      -0.1%       2.4%       2.5%
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------

     On a sequential basis, stabilized revenues increased 0.1% from Q4 2008 to
Q1 2009, decreased 0.1% from Q3 2008 to Q4 2008, increased 2.4% from Q2 2008
to Q3 2008, and increased 2.5% from Q1 2008 to Q2 2008.

     Market Fundamentals From Across Canada:

     Unemployment, Migration and Wages

     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Market Fundamentals
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           BC                Alberta          Saskatchewan
                           --                -------          ------------
                   Apr 2009  Apr 2008  Apr 2009  Apr 2008  Apr 2009  Apr 2008

     Unemployment
      Rate             7.4%      4.3%      6.0%      3.3%      5.0%      4.3%

                    Q4 2008   Q4 2007   Q4 2008   Q4 2007   Q4 2008   Q4 2007

     Net Inter-
      provincial
      Migration       1,453     2,599     6,198       864       949     1,782

     Net Inter-
      national
      Migration      10,255     6,252     8,967     6,290     1,512       611

     Total Net
      Migration      11,708     8,851    15,165     7,154     2,461     2,393

                   Feb 2008  Feb 2007  Feb 2008  Feb 2007  Feb 2008  Feb 2007
                         to        to        to        to        to        to
                   Feb 2009  Feb 2008  Feb 2009  Feb 2008  Feb 2009  Feb 2008

     Average Weekly
      Wages Growth    -0.5%      3.4%      5.4%      4.9%      3.5%      4.4%
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------


     -----------------------------------------------------
                             Market Fundamentals
     -----------------------------------------------------
                         Ontario             Quebec
                         -------             ------
                   Apr 2009  Apr 2008  Apr 2009  Apr 2008

     Unemployment
      Rate             8.7%      6.3%      8.4%      7.6%

                    Q4 2008   Q4 2007   Q4 2008   Q4 2007

     Net Inter-
      provincial
      Migration      -6,517    -4,047    -2,139    -2,105

     Net Inter-
      national
      Migration       6,151     5,637     6,046     6,902

     Total Net
      Migration        -366     1,590     3,907     4,797

                   Feb 2008  Feb 2007  Feb 2008  Feb 2007
                         to        to        to        to
                   Feb 2009  Feb 2008  Feb 2009  Feb 2008

     Average Weekly
      Wages Growth     1.1%      2.9%      2.2%      1.7%
     -----------------------------------------------------

     Source: Statistics Canada

     Western Canada:

     Rental market fundamentals in Western Canada have seen a decline compared
to 2008 levels, but are still surpassing the Eastern provinces.
     In Alberta, high energy prices helped buffer the economy in 2008, but the
province is beginning to see the effects of the economic recession. It is
projected that the province will lose between $97 billion and $241 billion of
capital projects over the next ten years due to delayed oil sands projects.
Two projects that are staying on course are Imperial Oil's Kearl Project,
worth $8 billion, and the Devon Jackfish Project. Imperial Oil expects to make
a decision regarding the Kearl Project at the end of its second quarter of
2009. It is estimated Alberta's GDP growth will decline by 0.7% in 2009, but
will rebound in 2010. As of April 2009, Alberta's unemployment rate was 6.0%,
the third lowest of all the provinces. Wage growth remains high in the
province, attracting interprovincial migration, with large gains from Ontario.
Alberta also saw reduced interprovincial migration losses to British Columbia
and Saskatchewan over the fourth quarter of 2008, helping it lead the
provinces in population growth for the fifth straight quarter. International
migration was also up year-over-year, contributing to rental demand in the
province.
     Saskatchewan is expected to post GDP growth of 0.9% in 2009, despite a
drop in commodity prices for uranium, crude oil, and agricultural products,
and will continue to attract capital investment. As of April 2009,
Saskatchewan's unemployment rate was 5.0%, the second lowest in the country.
Wage growth was lower year-over-year but still positive at 3.5%. International
migration to Saskatchewan was up year-over-year as of the fourth quarter of
2008, helping to make up for lower interprovincial migration.
     British Columbia gained 17,000 jobs in April 2009, helping to make up for
the 21,000 jobs lost in the previous month. The province's unemployment rate
for the same month stayed at 7.4%, below the national average of 8.0%. Wages
in British Columbia declined as of February 2009 by 0.5%. However, GDP growth
for the province is expected to exceed the national average in 2009, with
major projects as of December 2008 estimated at a worth of $179.4 billion.
While interprovincial migration to British Columbia was down, international
migration was higher year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2008, and net
migration will remain high in 2009.

     Eastern Canada:

     Eastern Canada continues to be negatively affected by the economic
recession. In Ontario, wage growth has tempered and unemployment remains at
8.7% as of April 2009. With General Motors and Chrysler facing financial
difficulties, the future of Ontario's auto industry remains uncertain. The
province also experienced its highest fourth quarter losses for
interprovincial migration since 1975 due to increased migration to Alberta.
Quebec saw wage growth increase year-over-year, as of February 2009, but also
saw an increase in unemployment, reaching 8.4% as of April. However, we are
pleased to report that Quebec gained 22,000 jobs in the same month. Fourth
quarter international and interprovincial migration to Quebec were both down
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
                                       Mar 2009  Mar 2008  Mar 2009  Mar 2008
       Average Single Family           $649,342  $764,616  $534,689  $597,176
       Average Condo                         na        na  $295,624  $328,734

     Alberta                               Calgary CMA          Edmonton
                                       Mar 2009  Mar 2008  Mar 2009  Mar 2008
       Average Single Family           $420,354  $474,513  $349,716  $387,632
       Average Condo                   $284,056  $312,056  $230,469  $263,023

     Saskatchewan                           Saskatoon            Regina
                                       Mar 2009  Mar 2008  Mar 2009  Mar 2008
       Average Overall                 $266,720  $289,440  $246,268  $211,962

     Ontario                                 London              Windsor
                                       Mar 2009  Mar 2008  Mar 2009  Mar 2008
       Average Single Family           $215,343  $225,854        na        na
       Average Condo                   $147,282  $142,081        na        na
       Average Overall                       na        na  $147,695  $165,298

     Quebec                              Montreal (CMA)
                                            Mar
                                         2009(*) Mar 2008
       Average Overall                 $254,502  $250,451
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Internally generated, NA = Data not available,
     (*) Internally calculated based on volume of sales and total sales for
     March 2009 as provided by the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
     Source: Association of Regina REALTORS(R), Calgary Real Estate Board,
     Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Real Estate
     Association, Edmonton Real Estate Board, Greater Montreal 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:

     The buyer's market is re-establishing in Western Canada, as low mortgage
rates and housing prices encourage new homebuyers. Both Calgary and Edmonton
saw declines in resale prices year-over-year, with the average price for a
single-family home in March 2009 falling by 11% and 10%, respectively. For the
same month, condominium prices in Calgary and Edmonton fell 9% and 12%,
respectively, year-over-year. Multi-family housing starts in both Calgary and
Edmonton are projected to drop dramatically, eliminating potential competition
for the existing rental market. Calgary has shown the most dramatic drop, from
7,051 in 2008 to an estimate of 1,700 for 2009. Condominium listings in
Calgary for March were also down 42% year-over-year. The March average sale
price in Saskatoon declined 8% year-over-year, but Regina saw a year-over-year
price increase of 16% for the same month. In Vancouver, the average price for
a single-family home fell 15.1% in March year-over-year, but prices remain
high, encouraging rental demand.

     Eastern Canada:

     The housing market in Eastern Canada is showing signs of stabilizing. The
price of a single-family home in London dropped by 5% for March 2009
year-over-year, although condominium prices were up 4% year-over-year for the
same month. Single-family sales were down in London by 7% in March compared to
the same time last year, but were an improvement from downward sales of 30% in
February of this year. Windsor also saw its average sale price decline by 11%
year-over-year for March. In Montreal, housing prices in March were up
slightly year-over-year, while sales were down; sales of single-family homes
and condominiums decreased by 11% and 15%, respectively, year-over year. While
consumer confidence in Montreal is increasing due to availability and low
interest rates, the demand for rental housing is still strong.

     Acquisitions and Dispositions

     Due to current market conditions, we are not anticipating any
acquisitions at this time. However, with the gap between public apartment
companies' and private market cap rates, 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.
     For further detail, please refer to page 17 of the MD&A.

     Unit Buyback

     In alignment with our financial guidance for 2009, we continue to believe
that one of the best investments we can make is purchasing our Trust Units at
current levels. Under the First Normal Course Issuer Bid, the Trust purchased
and cancelled 1,666,000 REIT Trust Units in the first nine months of 2008,
representing a total market value of approximately $65.3 million, or an
average of $39.19 per Trust Unit. Together with the 856,447 Trust Units
purchased and cancelled in 2007, the Trust has cumulatively purchased and
cancelled 2,522,447 Trust Units representing a total market value of
approximately $103.9 million at September 30, 2008, or an average of $41.18
per Trust Unit.
     Under the Second Bid, which received regulatory approval from the Toronto
Stock Exchange on August 18, 2008, the Trust has purchased and cancelled, on a
cumulative basis, 951,000 REIT units (305,000 in fiscal 2009), representing a
total market value of approximately $28.0 million ($7.9 million in fiscal
2009), or an average of $29.45 per trust unit.
     For further detail, please refer to pages 18-19 of the MD&A.

     Continued Financial Strength

     The Trust continued to build on its solid financial position throughout
the first quarter of 2009. Boardwalk REIT's total debt outstanding was $2.17
billion as of March 31, 2009, as compared to $2.18 billion as of December 31,
2008. As of March 31, 2009, the Trust's total debt had an average term
maturity of 3 years with a weighted average interest rate of 4.77% and the
debt-to-total enterprise value ratio was 61.1%.
     The Trust projects that by December 31, 2009, it will have access to
approximately $367 million of available capital in the form of cash-on-hand; a
secured, undrawn acquisition and operating facility; and estimated additional
mortgage proceeds for the remainder of the year. The Trust's interest coverage
ratio, excluding gains, for the three-month period ended March 31, 2009 was
2.18 times compared to 2.15 times in the same period last year.
     For further detail, please refer to pages 16 and 20-21 of the MD&A.

     Outlook and 2009 Financial Guidance

     We estimate that for fiscal 2009, we will report FFO on a per outstanding
Trust Unit between $2.45 - $2.55 (DI between $2.47 - $2.57). We are not
anticipating any new apartment acquisitions for 2009. The following table
details our 2009 Financial Guidance along with key assumptions:

     2009 Financial Guidance

     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Description                                           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 noted earlier, the Trust continues to believe that one of the best
investments it can make at this current time is an investment in Boardwalk
REIT through the continued purchase of its Trust Units. For 2009, the Trust
plans to prudently allocate capital to this area.
     For further detail, please refer to page 24 of the MD&A.

     2009 Distributions

     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
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     May 2009                    May 29, 2009               June 15, 2009
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     June 2009                   June 30, 2009              July 15, 2009
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     July 2009                   July 31, 2009              August 17, 2009
     -------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Investor Relations Policy Change

     At yesterday's Board Meeting, its Board of Trustees adopted a new
corporate communication policy whereby for a period of two weeks - fourteen
calendar days prior to the public release of Quarterly results - Senior
management or the Board will not be permitted to entertain any financial
results questions or participate in any industry related conferences related
to Boardwalk whereby questions on financial results would be asked.

     Supplementary Information

     Boardwalk produces the Quarterly Supplemental Information Package that
provides detailed information regarding the Trust's activities during the
quarter. The First Quarter 2009 Supplemental Information Package is available
on our investor website at www.boardwalkreit.com.

     Teleconference on First Quarter 2009 Financial Results

     We invite you to participate in the teleconference that will be held to
discuss these results this same morning (May,14, 2009) at 11:00 am EST. Senior
management will speak to the first quarter financial results and provide an
update. Presentation materials will be made available on our investor website
at www.boardwalkreit.com prior to the call.
     Participation & Registration: Please RSVP to Investor Relations at
403-206-6808 or by email to investor@bwalk.com.
     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 www.boardwalkreit.com 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 http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/viewEvent.cgi?eventID=2590500
     Replay: An audio recording of the teleconference will be available from
1:00 pm ET on Thursday, May 14, 2009 until 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, May 21,
2009. You can access it by dialing 416-640-1917 and using the passcode
21301056 followed by the pound (No.) sign.

     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.

     CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     Information in this news release that is not current or historical
factual information may constitute forward-looking information within the
meaning of securities laws. Implicit in this information, particularly in
respect of our objectives for 2009 and future periods, our 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, are estimates and assumptions subject to risks and
uncertainties, including those described in the Management's Discussion &
Analysis of Boardwalk REIT's 2008 Annual Report under the heading "Risks and
Risk Management", which could cause our actual results to differ materially
from the forward-looking information contained in this news release.
Specifically we have assumed that the general economy remains stable, interest
rates are relatively stable, acquisition capitalization rates are stable,
competition for acquisition of residential apartments remains intense, and
equity and debt markets continue to provide access to capital. These
assumptions, although considered reasonable by the Trust at the time of
preparation, may prove to be incorrect. For more exhaustive information on
these risks and uncertainties you should refer to our most recently filed
annual information form which is available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking
information contained in this news release is based on our current estimates,
expectations and projections, which we believe are reasonable as of the
current date. You should not place undue importance on forward-looking
information and should not rely upon this information as of any other date.
While we may elect to, we are under no obligation and do not undertake to
update this information at any particular time.

     %SEDAR: 00020684E
     
For further information please contact:
Boardwalk REIT
Sam Kolias, CEO, (403) 531-9255;
Roberto Geremia, President,(403) 531-9255;


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