AFI Says 2007 Profit Jumps 93%

AFI Development, a Russia-focused real estate company, said Thursday that its 2007 net profit rose by 93 percent to $215.6 million on the back of strong demand for commercial and residential properties.

Profit before tax increased 143.2 percent to $275.5 million from $113.3 million in 2006, said the company, which is 71 percent owned by Israeli conglomerate Africa Israel.

AFI raised $1.4 billion in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in May last year. It said its net asset value rose by 14.1 percent since the IPO to $5.9 billion.

Net asset value also amounted to $11.2 per share.

"This increase in NAV has been driven principally by an increase in rental rates, new acquisitions, progress across our assets under construction and success in securing zoning permissions," the company said in a statement.

Its portfolio included 29 projects with a total area of 3.64 million square meters at the end of last year. The value of the portfolio was $5.2 billion, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

AFI Development focuses on prime office, retail and mixed-use real estate developments in Russia.

The company also said it would consolidate all of the Russian assets of its parent company, having committed $180 million since the end of 2007 for the acquisitions and consolidation of those assets. It also announced plans to expand to Ukraine and other CIS states.