UPDATE 3-Simon Property raises outlook as profit tops expectations

Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:50pm EDT
 
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* Second-quarter FFO/shr $2.11 vs Wall St's $2.07

* Company increases full-year forecast

* Second-quarter rent, occupancy and sales rise

* Shares slip 0.7 pct

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Simon Property Group Inc , the largest owner of U.S. malls and outlet centers, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, boosted by increased occupancy and rent, and the company raised its earnings forecast for the year.

Simon's malls and outlets include some of the highest-quality U.S. properties, where demand for space from retailers keeps growing. Weaker malls are feeling more acutely the effects of wary consumers and competition from online shopping.

Simon has been able to post higher results and lower its cost of capital by redeveloping its properties, including modernizing, adding store space and expanding parking facilities. Simon also is adding supermarkets, such as Wegmans to the Montgomery Mall in North Wales, Pennsylvania, and Fairway Market to The Shops at Nanuet, in Nanuet, New York.

"They're grinding it out one mall at a time, one project at a time, one opportunity at a time, but they do it very well," said Richard Imperiale, president of Uniplan Investment Counsel Inc, a fund that owns Simon shares. "They're good at basic blocking and tackling."   Continued...