By  on November 5, 2008

Simon Property Group Inc., the largest public real estate group in the U.S., reported a more than 30 percent falloff in third-quarter profits Monday.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust posted a 30.1 percent drop in profits to $124.1 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, from $179.2 million, or 74 cents a share, a year ago. The company said the decline in profits in the most recent quarter was partly due to the sale of assets in the U.S. and Poland for a net gain of $82.2 million in the third quarter of 2007. Without the transactions, year-ago EPS would have been 45 cents.

Revenue for the three months rose 3.1 percent to $935.6 million from $907.1 million.

Simon’s funds from operations, a figure REITs use to define cash flow, totaled $463.9 million in the third quarter, a 10.8 percent gain from $418.7 million last year.

For the first nine months of 2008, profits fell 15 percent to $311.3 million, or $1.23 a share, from $366.2 million, or $1.45 a share, last year. Revenue fell 7.4 percent to $2.75 billion.

Funds from operations in the first three quarters increased 10.8 percent to $1.32 billion from $1.18 billion a year ago.

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