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Owner of shopping malls sees earnings rise 4.1%

General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest U.S. owner of shopping malls, said Monday that third-quarter earnings rose 4.1 percent on higher store sales and increased rents.

Net income increased to $64 million, or 29 cents a share, from $61.4 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier, the Chicago-based company said in a statement. Revenue climbed 22 percent to $397.5 million.

Total tenant sales at General Growth rose 7.2 percent for the third quarter, and comparable tenant sales increased 4.8 percent from the year-ago period. Sales per square foot, on a trailing 12-month basis as of Sept. 30, rose to $377 from $354 a year earlier.

General Growth's portfolio includes Cache Valley Mall in Logan, the Cottonwood Mall in Holladay, Newgate Mall in Ogden, the Provo Towne Centre and the Red Cliffs Mall in St. George. In August, the company also agreed to purchase Rouse Co., which owns the Fashion Place mall in Murray.

General Growth's funds from operations, a measure of cash flow used by real estate investment trusts, rose 16 percent to $180.2 million, or 66 cents a share, from $155.8 million, or 57 cents.