CHICAGO — CenterPoint Properties Trust (NYSE: CNT) has reported a 23.2% increase in quarterly net income, from $9.3 million in the first quarter of 2000 to $11.5 million in the first quarter of 2001. Per share, net income increased 11.1% to 50 cents per share from 45 cents per share in the first quarter of 2000.

Funds from operations (FFO) increased 12.7% to 89 cents per share for the first quarter of 2001, vs. 79 cents per share for the same period in 2000. The company’s per-share FFO missed the Thomson Financial/First Call estimate of 90 cents per share by a penny.

For 2001, CenterPoint expects FFO per share in the range of $3.75 to $3.81. On a quarterly basis, it expects per-share FFO in the range of 91 cents to 93 cents for the second quarter, 96 cents to 98 cents in the third quarter and 99 cents to $1.01 in the fourth quarter.

CenterPoint’s 4.2 to 1 debt-service coverage and $286.5 million available in a recently renewed line of credit puts the company in position to thrive even during an economic downturn, President and CEO John Gates said. CenterPoint’s portfolio is 94.6% leased and developments under construction are 99% preleased or presold, he said.

"Over our 15 years as a public company, we have achieved our highest returns during economic downturns," Gates said. "Risk-adjusted returns for new build-to-suits, value-added investments and redevelopments continue to improve. Meanwhile, the disposition market remains attractive, driven by leveraged private investors benefiting from lower interest rates."