May 2 (Reuters) - Real estate investment trust Kimco Realty raised its forecast for 2024 funds from operations on Thursday, banking on robust leasing demand at its open-air grocery-anchored shopping centers.

Commercial real estate investment trusts such as Kimco have benefited from a shrinking supply of rental spaces, giving them room to raise rental rates.

The New York-based company also topped market expectations for first-quarter funds from operations and revenue, with its portfolio occupancy up 20 basis points year-over-year at 96%.

Kimco forecast full-year funds from operations between $1.56 and $1.60 per share, up from its earlier expectation in the range of $1.54 to $1.58.

Total revenue of $503.8 million beat analysts' average estimates of $477.3 million.

Net revenue from rental properties rose 13.8% over the prior year to $498.9 million in the quarter.

The company reported first-quarter funds from operation of 39 cents per share, edging past market expectations of 37 cents per share. (Reporting by Juveria Tabassum; Editing by Vijay Kishore)