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Simon Property 4Q buoyed by increased rents

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Shopping mall operator Simon Property Group said Monday that a key measure of profitability climbed in its fourth quarter as occupancy improved and rents increased.

The company said Monday that its funds from operations, or FFO, rose to $827.4 million, or $2.29 per share. That compares with $678.9 million, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected FFO of $2.17 per share.

FFO adds items like amortization and depreciation back to net income and is considered a key to understanding the ongoing business of a real estate investment trust like Simon.

Minimum rent per square foot climbed 3.4 percent to $40.73, while occupancy rose to 95.3 percent from 94.6 percent.

Net income fell 13 percent to $315.4 million, or $1.01 per share, from $362.9 million, or $1.24 per share, in the prior year.

Wall Street forecast $1.04 per share.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 15 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.17 billion. Analysts expected $1.32 billion.

Simon Property Group Inc. said Monday that its full-year FFO increased to $2.89 billion, or $7.98 per share. In the prior year the Indianapolis company reported FFO of $2.44 billion, or $6.89 per share.

Net income rose 40 percent to $1.43 billion, or $4.72 per share, from $1.02 billion, or $3.48 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue climbed 13 percent to $4.88 billion from $4.31 billion.

For 2013, Simon Property anticipates FFO between $8.40 and $8.50 per share. Net income expected in a range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. Analysts predict FFO of $8.43 per share and earnings of $3.83 per share.

Simon Property currently owns or has an interest in 328 retail properties in North America and Asia. Some of its properties include The Galleria at White Plains in New York and Fashion Valley in San Diego.

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