April 30 - U.S. real estate investment trust (REIT) Extra Space Storage reported first-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, helped by higher occupancy rate for its self-storage units.

Its average same-store occupancy for the quarter ended March 31 rose to 93.2% from 92.7% a year ago.

Demand for storage space has waned from the heights of the pandemic, as freight demand and new home sales remain weak. However, Extra Space Storage was able to pad its margins with higher occupancy.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based REIT owns or operates 3,793 storage stores in 42 states, making it the largest operator of self-storage properties in the United States. "Rental activity has been strong year to date and vacates remain muted, which positions us well to maximize revenue during the 2024 leasing season," said CEO Joe Margolis.

Its quarterly revenue rose to $799.5 million, compared with analysts' estimate of $703.9 million, according to LSEG data.

The company reported quarterly core funds from operations (FFO) of $1.96 per share, down from $2.02 a year ago.

Peer Prologis lowered its full-year forecast for core funds from operations (FFO) earlier in April, citing lower occupancy due to a slowdown in freight demand. (Reporting by Abhinav Parmar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alan Barona)