Mall landlord Simon Property forecasts rise in annual profit

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers ascend and descend escalators at the King of Prussia Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, United State’s largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018. Picture taken December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela

(Reuters) – Simon Property Group Inc forecast higher full-year profit on Monday as improving store traffic at brick-and-mortar retailers helped drive a rise in the largest U.S. mall owner’s rent collection.

Sales of some brick-and-mortar retailers have improved from the pandemic troughs plumbed last year thanks to the launch of online shopping options such as same-day order pick-ups and government stimulus checks.

Simon said it had collected 90% of the second, third and fourth-quarter net billed rents combined as of Feb. 5. It had collected only 85% of third-quarter net billed rents as of Nov. 6.

However, total revenue fell 24% to $1.13 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Simon forecast 2021 earnings per share of $4.60 to $4.85, compared with a profit of $3.59 per share in 2020.

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