NETHERLANDS - Property investor Corio expects its 2008 results to be in line with last year's return, after announcing its 2007 performance gained 2.7% to over €203m.

Net rental income for continuing operations - worth over €330m last year - are forecasted to increase by approximately 14%, while financial expenses are expected to rise by €27m, the €7bn real estate investor made clear in its Q1 2008 results.

Direct sale results were up 2% to €52.1m I the first three months of this year, while net rental income rose by 12% to €68.9m. That said, net profits have decreased by 35.8% to €62.3m, or €0.94 per share, Corio said.

The firm has indicated its total pipeline business has dropped to €3.1bn, mainly because of the transfer of the acquired shopping centre Grand'Littoral in Marseille - France's fourth largest retail centre with 110,000 m2 of lettable floor space- as well as retail centre-under-development Pieter Vreedeplein in Tilburg in the Netherlands to Corio's investment portfolio.

According to the investor, a revaluation during the first quarter added 0.2% to the value of the entire portfolio. Retail investments rose by 0.5%, however offices decreased in value by 1.2%.

While the value of its retail properties in the Netherlands, France and Italy was up by 12.6%, 15.3% and 13.6% respectively, real estate in Spain had lost 12.1% of its value.

The property investor sold its Dutch office and industrial portfolio to White Estate Investments (WEI) in April. As a result, the Dutch share of the portfolio decreased to 33%, and the retail share of the portfolio in turn rose to 92%.

That said, the amount of the €650m transaction to WEI was 1.5% below the book value, excluding the transaction costs, Corio noted in its quarterly report.

Corio recently acquired a shopping centre in Malatya, in Turkey, as well as the remaining 70% of AdaCenter in Adapazari, also in Turkey.

The property investor has been listed in the AEX index since March so as of 1 May, its management board consists of Gerard Groener (CEO), Jan Haars (CFO) and Frederic Fontaine.

Corio is an investor and manager of retail centres mainly in the Netherlands and France, but also has a presence in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Germany.