Hibernia REIT has today reported net rental income of €45.7m for the financial year to the end of March, up 15.1% on the previous year. 

The real estate investment trust said its net asset value per share - a key measure of performance - was 9% higher at just over 159 cent. 

Hibernia REIT's portfolio value stood at around €1.31 billion, an increase of 6.6% on the previous year. The company now has 32 investment properties in its portfolio. 

It reported profit before tax of €107.1m, which included a revaluation surplus and said it was proposing a final dividend of 1.9 cent per share. 

This brings the total dividend for the year to three cent, up 36.4% on the previous year.

"Our portfolio returns significantly outperformed the Irish market, helped in particular by our office developments and our residential assets, and our growing rental income has enabled us to propose increasing the dividend for the year by 36%," commented the company's chief executive Kevin Nolan.

"As guided, we recycled capital into assets which we believe will enhance our future portfolio returns and we expect to continue this process," the CEO added.

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Mr Nowlan said the supply of new offices in Dublin remains relatively constrained, particularly in the city centre market in which Hibernia specialise.

"Economic momentum in Ireland is strong, as is demand from domestic and international occupiers for office space in Dublin. These same dynamics are also in evidence in the residential rental market," he said.  

"We have a talented team, a portfolio rich in opportunity and flexible, low-cost funding available to support our plans," he added.

During the year, the company completed two schemes, 1WML and 2DC, which delivered 197,000 square feet of "Grade A" offices in Dublin city centre.

It is also continued to work on three committed schemes totalling 222,000 square feet of "Grade A" offices.

These include 1SJRQ and 2WML - due to finished by the end of 2018 - and which will complete the Windmill Quarter. Meanwhile its Cumberland Place Phase II project is due to be finished by the end of this month. 

Hibernia REIT noted that the office take-up in Dublin set a new record in 2017 and remained above trend in the first quarter of 2018, taking the overall vacancy rate to 6.2% by March 2018.  

The "Grade A" vacancy rate in Dublin's city centre, where about 90% of Hibernia’s portfolio is located was 3.9% at the same date, it added.  

"With strong occupier demand, limited new supply and growing rents it has been unsurprising to see prime office yields compress and the same dynamics are in effect in the residential market," the company said. 

It added that while the increase in stamp duty on commercial property in the year somewhat reduced the valuation gains from the yield compression and rental growth, on a like-for-like basis its office portfolio grew 4.3% in value.

Its residential portfolio, which is not subject to the stamp duty increase, grew by 13.4%, it added.

Shares in the company closed 2.26% higher in Dublin trade today.