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Profit edges down at Health Care REIT

Health Care REIT Inc. reported yesterday that its profit for 2005 was $84.3 million, or $1.15 a share, down 1 percent from $85.4 million, or $1.39 a share,

The results were posted during a year when the company's assets grew to nearly $3 billion, an increase of 16 percent from $2.6 billion at the end of 2004.

The Toledo real estate investment trust said it would bump its quarterly dividend to 64 cents, up 2 cents from what it has paid.

"We enjoyed a record year," said George Chapman, chairman and chief executive.

The firm invested more than $642 million into nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and specialty-care operations last year. It sold $147 million worth of its non-core assets and reduced its debt.

The company reported revenue of $282 million for 2005, up 18 percent from $239 million a year earlier.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported profit of $31.9 million, or 47 cents a share, a gain of 50 percent from $21.2 million, or 30 cents a share for the period a year earlier. Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $78 million, up 17 percent from $66 million a year ago.

Funds from operations, a measure that includes depreciation, grew 12 percent to $165 million, or $1.15 a share, during the year.

Health Care REIT said it expects to invest $300 million to $450 million in health-care properties in 2006. The company has investments in 442 facilities in 36 states.

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