General Growth Properties Inc., the nation’s second-largest mall operator, reported that its comparable net operating income for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 5.2 percent to $561 million from $533 million in the prior year period.

Company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 20.2 percent to $590 million from $491 million in the prior-year period.

Funds from operations increased 24.2 percent to 40 cents per diluted share from 32 cents per diluted share in the prior year period. FFO increased 23.7 percent to $383 million from $309 million in the prior year period.

The positive performance is a result of GGP’s streamlined portfolio focused on class A properties which are in many cases attracting higher traffic levels than most other malls, strip, power and lifestyle centers around the country. While many retailers have been experiencing negative sales trends, tenants at GGP properties, excluding anchor stores, increased 2.1 percent to $20.3 billion on a trailing 12-month basis, the company said in its report Monday.

The company pointed out that FFO was approximately $48 million higher than the first-quarter guidance. Approximately $30 million is from income from the company’s share of a condominium development in the Ala Moana mixed use complex in Hawaii, and from a $13 million gain from selling marketable securities. Full-year FFO guidance remains unchanged at $1.52 to $1.56 per share, and for the second quarter is expected to be 34 cents to 36 cents per diluted share. Net income attributable to common stockholders, which is impacted primarily by depreciation expense, gain from changes in control of investment properties and provisions for impairment and loan loss, was $188 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $631 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.

In the first quarter, GGP acquired the remaining 25 percent interest in Spokane Valley Mall for $37.5 million including $14.8 million in debt.

Also, the company sold its interests in four retail properties for about $302 million and received net proceeds of approximately $250 million. The company has set about $1 billion in development and redevelopment projects, of which approximately $0.4 billion are under construction and $0.6 billion are in the pipeline.

During the quarter, the Company repaid $315 million on its credit facility. There is no balance outstanding as of March 31, 2016.

The company will hold a conference call on the results on Tuesday.
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