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Sovran’s credit rating raised

Sovran Self Storage’s credit rating was bumped up a notch by Standard & Poors, which said it expects rents and occupancy levels to keep rising across the Amherst-based self storage facility operator’s growing stable of stores.

The upgrade raised Sovran’s credit rating to BBB, which is a full grade above the lowest investment grade level. The move, which S&P said reflects Sovran’s reduced financial risk, is likely to help lower the company’s future borrowing costs.

Sovran’s earnings have grown by 27 percent through the first nine months of this year as rents at stores open for at least a year have risen by 5 percent and occupancy levels have improved by a full percentage point to 91.4 percent. S&P said it expects rents to keep rising “in the mid-single digits” and occupancy rates to improve by another percentage point over the next two years.

Sovran currently operates more than 500 self storage facilities in 25 states under the Uncle Bob’s Self Storage name.