Simon Property results speed past Wall St estimates

NEW YORK, April 26 Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:08am EDT

NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) - Simon Property Group Inc said funds from operations, a key earnings measure, rose in the first quarter, helped by higher occupancy, rents and sales at its malls and outlet centers, and beat estimates.

FFO increased to $741.9 million, or $2.05 per share, from $648.7 million, or $1.82 per share, a year earlier, Simon, the largest U.S. owner of malls and shopping centers said on Friday.

Analysts, on average, expected FFO of $2.01 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

FFO is a real estate investment trust performance measure that usually excludes gains or losses from property sales and removes the effect that depreciation has on earnings.

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