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Liberty Property Trust CEO Discusses Q2 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

I will also remind you that some of the statements made during this call will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities law. Although Liberty believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. As forward-looking statements, these statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results, risks that were detailed in the issued press release, and from time-to-time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.

Bill, would you like to begin?

Bill Hankowsky

Thank you, Jeanne, and good afternoon, everyone. Second quarter was another very strong quarter for Liberty. We leased over 5.4 million square feet, our best quarter in a year-and-a-half, and our third-best quarter in the company's history.

Occupancy increased by 20 basis points overall to 90.7%. Our renewal rate was over 60% and our retention rate was over 92%, the highest ever. We (Inaudible) $209 million of real estate, which was 2.7 million square feet of predominantly suburban office and high-finish flex, including the large repositioning sale we've discussed over the last several calls.

We acquired over 600,000 square feet of predominantly industrial value-add real estate in Minnesota and Phoenix, and our development pipeline continue to be strong with the addition of three new projects bringing the pipeline to $310 million a total of 3.3 million square feet.

Finally, a preferred redemption in an unsecured debt transaction further strengthened our already robust balance sheet. George, Mike and Rob will provide further color on all this activity in a moment. So, this was a solid quarter by any measure, but even more so, given the weakening economic landscape, the second quarter saw monthly job growth average 75,000 per month, down two-thirds from the first quarter. With unemployment stock at 8.2%. Business settlement has softened and business uncertainty pervades whether generated by Europe or by Washington, and yet the real estate markets have a bifurcated character to them. Small and mid-size local prospects are behaving more defensively given this environment, but larger or corporate customers are one might turn (Inaudible) are very active. Thinking about long-term decisions and (Inaudible) cash planning offensively.

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