By ANNE GIBSON

The largest listed real estate trust, Kiwi Income Property Trust, yesterday announced a $44.75 million net profit after tax for the March year, up 3.2 per cent on the previous year but with a slightly reduced payout for its unitholders.

Kiwi chairman Jim Syme announced the results of the 2002 performance and said Kiwi now had $911.6 million in assets, had completed its $90 million expansion of Northlands shopping mall in Christchurch and revalued its portfolio up $6.1 million.

Chief executive Angus McNaughton said the total gross dividend for the year would be 8.54c a unit, down from the 10.15c last year because the trust had more unitholders.

Syme said Kiwi now ranked at 12 on the NZSE 40 Index, up from its place at 24 last year. Its market capitalisation (unit price multiplied by number of units on issue) increased $131 million to $663 million, up from last year's $532 million, Syme said.

McNaughton said that during its 10 years Kiwi had returned an average 11 per cent to unitholders, one of the top performances.

Kiwi's properties are 98 per cent tenanted. It revalued the country's tallest office block, the 40-level Royal & SunAlliance Centre in Auckland, up from $201.5 to $204.5 million.