RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust says it is well-positioned to weather challenges in the retail landscape as it focuses on necessity-based retailers and major urban centres.
"While there's no question the retail landscape is evolving and it's full of challenges, RioCan is ideally suited to succeed in this environment,'' said Jonathan Gitlin, president and COO on an analyst call Thursday.
He said the REIT's retail mix is focused on "necessity retailers" such as grocers and pharmacies, while it has reduced its exposure to internet-exposed sectors like department stores and apparel to less than 8.5% of total revenue.
Overall, RioCan has sold off about 10 million square feet of retail space in secondary markets for about $1.6 billion since Oct. 2017, while making $1.2 billion in major-market acquisitions.
"To put it simply, we've repositioned our portfolio," Gitlin said.
Major markets represented 90.1% of revenue in 2019, up from 85.4% a year earlier. The Greater Toronto Area alone represented 52.4% of revenue for the year, up from 46.8% a year earlier.
Profit edged up to $150.8 million in the latest quarter, from $149.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
RioCan's funds from operations totalled $146.1 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31. The result compared with funds from operations of $138.4 million in the last three months of 2018.
RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused and increasingly mixed-use properties in Canada's major markets.
It had 220 properties at Dec. 31, including 14 development properties.