Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) today (April 21) reported net income of $13.6 million for the first quarter compared to $12.7 million for the same period last year.

Funds from Operation (FFO) –  a widely used gauge of real estate operating performance, adds depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as other non-operating items, back to net income  – were $37.9 million for the quarter on a fully diluted basis, compared to $32.6 million during the same period last year. 

The results for the quarter ended March 31 include approximately $1.6 million of net insurance proceeds reflected in income from other investments. Additionally, ELS recognized $1.1 million in gains from the sale of two joint ventures. The combined insurance proceeds and joint venture gains resulted in approximately $2.7 million of additional FFO or approximately $2.3 million of net income.

Due to the Aug. 14, 2008, acquisition of Privileged Access L.P. the results for the quarter also include $5.2 million of net deferrals of non-refundable upfront payments from the sale of right-to-use contracts which are amortized over the estimated customer life along with $1.5 million of net deferrals of commissions paid on the sale of right-to use contracts which are also amortized on the same method as the deferred sales revenue.

The net deferral for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, is approximately $3.7 million.

First quarter 2009 operating revenues were $124.4 million, compared to $106.4 million in the first quarter of 2008 resulting in an increase of approximately 4.5% to income from ELS’ core property operations over the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2009, the company had 20 new home sales, including three third party dealer sales, which represents an 83.9% decrease as compared to the same quarter last year. Gross revenues from home sales were $1.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to $6.2 million for the quarter  last year leading to a net loss from home sales of $600,000.

 During the quarter, ELS acquired the remaining 75% interests in three joint ventures as follows:  Robin Hill, a 270-site property in Lenhartsville, Pa., Sun Valley, a 265-site property in Brownsville, Pa., and  Plymouth Rock, a 609-site property in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The gross purchase price was approximately $19.2 million, and ELS assumed mortgage loans of approximately $12.9 million.

ELS also sold its 25% interest in two joint ventures known as Pine Haven, a 625-site property in Ocean View, N.J., and Round Top, a 319-site property in Gettysburg, Pa.

 ELS has approximately $48 million of secured mortgage debt that matures in the remainder of 2009.

 ELS estimated that that 2009 operating revenue will grow between 2.75% and 3.25% over 2008 and income from core property operations, excluding property management expenses, is expected to grow from approximately 3% to 4% over 2008.

 In its report, ELS acknowledged the existence of volatile economic conditions, including  the mix of site usage within the portfolio,  yield management on our short-term resort sites,  scheduled or implemented rate increases on community and resort sites, scheduled or implemented rate increases of annual payments under right-to-use contracts, occupancy changes, the ability to retain and attract customers renewing or purchasing right-to-use contracts.

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., a self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust with headquarters in Chicago, owns or has an interest in 308 properties in 28 states and British Columbia consisting of 110,855 sites.  

A live webcast of ELS’ conference call discussing these results will be available via the Company’s website in the Investor Info section at http://www.equitylifestyle.com at 11:00 a.m. EST today (April 21).